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2nd Coming of Jesus Christ


Revelation 19:11-21

Revelation 19 - Quick Links

  • Great Multitude in Heaven
    Revelation 19:1-6

  • Marriage Supper of the Lamb
    Revelation 19:7-10

  • King of Kings and Lord of Lords
    Revelation 19:11-16

  • Great Supper of God
    Revelation 19:17-21

  • Revelation 19:11-16


    Revelation 19:11 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

    John sees Heaven opened, but the grammatical tense in the Greek better translates to "Heaven having been opened" (Source). In fact, we see that Heaven was open even before the Tribulation:

    Revelation 4:1 - After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, "Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this."

    As discussed in Revelation 4:1, the door or gate open to Heaven is the physical entrance to the Kingdom of God. We see in the parable below that Jesus is the "door" to Heaven, believers are His "sheep," and the Kingdom of God is the "pasture":

    John 10:7-9 - Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture."

    So, the door to Heaven is open to believers and closed to those not saved:

    Luke 13:23-28 - Then one said to Him, "Lord, are there few who are saved?" And He said to them, "Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, 'Lord, Lord, open for us,' and He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know you, where you are from,' then you will begin to say, 'We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.' But He will say, 'I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.' There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out."

    We see other examples in Scripture where God opens Heaven to give revelation or blessings to His people and His Son:

    Psalms 78:23-24 - Yet He had commanded the clouds above, and opened the doors of heaven, had rained down manna on them to eat, and given them of the bread of heaven.
    Ezekiel 1:1 - Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.
    Malachi 3:10 - "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it."
    Luke 3:21 - When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened.
    John 1:51 - And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."
    Acts 7:55-59 - But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and said, "Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!" Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord; and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit."
    Acts 10:10-11 - Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.

    While the door to Heaven is a spiritual passageway through Christ, it appears that the Lord will remove the veil between the spiritual and physical realms when He returns that will disrupt and alter the order of the cosmos:

    Isaiah 64:1 - Oh, that You would rend the heavens! That You would come down! That the mountains might shake at Your presence - as fire burns brushwood, as fire causes water to boil - to make Your name known to Your adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Your presence!
    Isaiah 13:9-13 - Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. "I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger."
    Matthew 24:29-30 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

    John sees a white horse with a rider called "Faithful and True." As discussed in Revelation 1:5, Jesus is the faithful and true witness for the Godhead, which means He is reliable or trustworthy, and there is no falsehood found in Him because it is impossible for Him to lie:

    Revelation 1:4-6 - John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
    Revelation 3:14 - "And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, 'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God....'"

    When Jesus came to the earth the first time He rode on a humble donkey, but when He returns He will ride on a magnificent white horse. The Tribulation begins with the arrival of a white horse and a conquering rider, and ends with the arrival of a white horse and a conquering rider:

    Revelation 6:2 - And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.

    Recall from Revelation 1:14, the color white usually represents purity and cleansing from sin (Isaiah 1:18, Psalms 51:5-7). However, in the context of this passage in Revelation, white symbolizes conquest. As discussed in Revelation 6:2, while both white horses come in conquest, red, black, and pale green horses follow the first white horse, and they wreak havoc in destruction. In contrast, armies of Heaven follow the rider of the last white horse who comes to bring peace to the world. The rider of the first white horse is the spirit of lawlessness and the rider of the last white horse is the Lord Jesus Christ, the "Prince of Peace" (Isaiah 9:6). Note below other differences between the riders and their white horses at the beginning and the end of the Tribulation:


    White horse at the
    beginning of the Tribulation
    (Revelation 6)
    White Horse at the
    end of the Tribulation
    (Revelation 19)
    Rider has a bow Rider has a sword
    Rider has a victor's crown (stephanos) Rider has royal crowns (diadems)
    Followed by different
    colored horses of judgment
    Followed by the armies
    in Heaven on white horses
    Peace taken from the earth
    by the red horse that follows
    Peace brought to the earth
    by the rider on the white horse

    Jesus is returning to make war against His enemies who come to make war with Him, and to take vengeance for His people:

    Revelation 19:19 - And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
    2 Thessalonians 1:6-8 - ...since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Psalms 24:8 - Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

    When Jesus conquers the world, He will judge His enemies and His people in righteousness. As discussed in Revelation 19:2, the Lord's judgments are righteous because they are just, meaning the verdict is accurate and the punishment fits the transgression:

    Revelation 19:2 - "For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her."
    Jeremiah 23:5-6 - "Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell safely; now this is His name by which He will be called: The Lord our righteousness."
    Isaiah 16:5 - "In mercy the throne will be established; and One will sit on it in truth, in the tabernacle of David, judging and seeking justice and hastening righteousness."
    Psalms 50:3-6 - Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous all around Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people: "Gather My saints together to Me, those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice." Let the heavens declare His righteousness, for God Himself is Judge. Selah
    Psalms 96:13 - For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with His truth.

    The return of Jesus is widely considered the climactic moment of Revelation, and of all human history, because it is when the Lord reclaims the earth and gathers together all things in Heaven and on the earth unto Himself:

    Revelation 11:15-18 - Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come, because You have taken Your great power and reigned. The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, and those who fear Your name, small and great, and should destroy those who destroy the earth."
    Ephesians 1:7-10 - In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth - in Him.

    The Lord's momentous return to redeem the earth and His people will truly be a "glorious appearing":

    Titus 2:11-14 - For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

    Revelation 19:12 - His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.

    The Lord's eyes look like a "flame of fire" which could be described as a "piercing gaze," and relates to the Lord's displeasure with our sin, as discussed in Revelation 1:14:

    Psalms 39:8-13 - Deliver me from all my transgressions; do not make me the reproach of the foolish. I was mute, I did not open my mouth, because it was You who did it. Remove Your plague from me; I am consumed by the blow of Your hand. When with rebukes You correct man for iniquity, You make his beauty melt away like a moth; surely every man is vapor. Selah "Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more."

    This imagery brings to mind judgment, on both the righteous and the wicked, where the Lord's eyes discern the intents of the heart - whether righteous or wicked:

    Psalms 11:4-7 - The LORD is in His holy temple, the LORD's throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.
    Hebrews 4:13 - And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
    Proverbs 20:8 - A king who sits on the throne of judgment scatters all evil with his eyes.

    The Lord also has many crowns, or "diadems" on His head. A "diadem" is a crown of royalty and is different from the "stephanos" which is a victor's crown. The Lord wears a golden crown, or "stephanos" when He harvests the last of the souls of the Tribulation saints:

    Revelation 14:14 - Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat One like the Son of Man, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle.

    The crown of thorns on the Lord's head at His crucifixion is also called a "stephanos" (Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:17, John 19:2, 5). The thorns represent Christ's rejection (Hebrews 6:8), but this rejection led to victory over sin and death because of the cross that gave Him the power to save souls (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). Therefore, the crown of thorns and the golden crown represent Christ's victory at the cross.

    In contrast, when the Lord returns wearing "diadems," it symbolizes His royalty as "King of kings" who is coming to rule and reign over the earth (Revelation 19:16). The Lord will reclaim the earth and rightfully make claim to the crowns, or "diadems" worn by the dragon and the beast who previously ruled over the world, similar to David taking the crown from his defeated enemy:

    Revelation 12:3 - And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.
    Revelation 13:1 - Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
    2 Samuel 12:29-30 - So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. Then he took their king's crown from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David's head. Also he brought out the spoil of the city in great abundance.

    Jesus is the High Priest of the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 8) and will thus also bear the priestly crown (Exodus 29:6, 39:30, Leviticus 8:9), in addition to His royal crowns and His victor's crowns, as shown in one of Zechariah's visions that prophesied that the Messiah would be both a priest and a king:

    Zechariah 6:11-13 - Take the silver and gold, make an elaborate crown, and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Then speak to him, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, saying: "Behold, the Man whose name is the BRANCH! From His place He shall branch out, and He shall build the temple of the LORD; yes, He shall build the temple of the LORD. He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on His throne; so He shall be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."'

    Throughout Scripture we see that the Lord has many names or titles that describe His character and who He is, but here we see that He has a name written on Him only He knows. Since the Lord is the only one who knows this name, it is different from His other two names publicly declared later in this chapter:

    Revelation 19:13, 16 - ... His name is called The Word of God.... And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    This unknown name may be the new name He will write on the overcomers:

    Revelation 3:12 - He who overcomes... I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

    Some have suggested that the unknown name is the "Tetragrammaton," the four Hebrew consonants "YHWH" often translated "LORD" that make up the name of God. No one knows for sure how to pronounce it because there are no vowels (Source). However, the Lord said He made this name known to Moses and it may have been known for many generations until the Jews decided the name was too sacred to speak:

    Exodus 6:2-3 - And God spoke to Moses and said to him: "I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name LORD I was not known to them."

    It is interesting to note, both Jacob (Genesis 32) and Samson's parent's (Judges 13) asked for the name of the "Angel of the Lord," whom many believe was the pre-incarnate Christ. Curiously, the name was not revealed to them, but both parties recognized that they had seen God. Perhaps this hidden name is the "new name," or the name that God will write on the overcomers. Or perhaps it is a name that only the members of the Godhead will only ever understand and remain hidden:

    Luke 10:22 - "All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

    In either case, the hidden or new name suggests an intimate relationship with those who know or will know the name, as discussed in Revelation 2:17. On that note, the following riddle suggests that those who trust God will be able to know His name that is not known because they will understand who He is:

    Proverbs 30:4-5 - Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name, and what is His Son's name, if you know? Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

    Revelation 19:13 - He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.

    Christ wears a robe dipped, or dyed in blood. We will see that the Lord did not exit Heaven with a blood-stained robe, but by the time John describes His garment the Lord had already returned to earth to war against His enemies:

    Revelation 19:11 - Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

    This is not the shed blood of the Lamb of God who was slain (Revelation 5:6). The Lord returns as the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5) and the King of kings (Revelation 19:16) in conquest (Revelation 19:11), and the Lord's garment becomes stained with the blood of His enemies with whom He comes to make war. Isaiah shows us that the Lord will first go to Edom to war with his enemies who are still trying to pursue the Jewish remnant supernaturally protected there through the last half of the Tribulation, as discussed in Revelation 12:6:

    Isaiah 63:1-6 - Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength? - "I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth."

    The Lord's garments get stained by crushing His enemies like treading grapes in a winepress. As the Lord moves from Edom toward Jerusalem, where the nations have gathered back to the plain of Megiddo or the Valley of Armageddon (Revelation 16:14-16), He will continue to tread His enemies like grapes in a winepress:

    Revelation 19:15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
    Jeremiah 25:30-33 - "Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: 'The LORD will roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He will roar mightily against His fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise will come to the ends of the earth - For the LORD has a controversy with the nations; He will plead His case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,' says the LORD." Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, disaster shall go forth From nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up From the farthest parts of the earth. And at that day the slain of the LORD shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground."
    Joel 3:11-14 - Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; for the winepress is full, the vats overflow - for their wickedness is great." Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

    The armies will gather from the plain of Megiddo, but the battle is over Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:1-9), and the Lord's judgment will center in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, which means "God has judged," also called the "Valley of Decision." This valley is in the wilderness east of Jerusalem (Source), where King Jehoshaphat defeated Judah's enemies (2 Chronicles 20:24-26). So, when the Lord returns, the armies will be streaming toward and around Jerusalem from the plain of Megiddo. As discussed in Revelation 16:16, the Lord will crush these armies like grapes in a winepress with great hail:

    Revelation 16:21 - And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

    As the hail melts it will mingle with the blood of men and the blood-contaminated waters of the Jordan River from the third Bowl judgment (Revelation 16:4):

    Revelation 14:19-20 - So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

    As discussed in Revelation 14:19-20, the distance this river of blood will run is 1600 furlongs - about 200 miles or 320 kilometers, which is roughly the distance to the Red Sea from the Jezreel Valley, through the Jordan Valley which passes by Bozrah and Petra in Edom. This makes sense, as the Lord will trample His enemies from Edom to Megiddo outside of Jerusalem.

    Armageddon

    Source: Wikipedia

    If the river of blood reaches as high as the horses' bridle outside of Jerusalem, imagine the depth at the bottom of the Jezreel Valley and the Jordan Valley. Naturally, all this liquid will flow to the path of least resistance down the Jordan Valley and into the Dead Sea. It is fitting that the Lord compares the gruesome carnage of His enemies to the trampling of grapes, as He will crush them to death because they have drunk the wine of wrath (Revelation 14:8-10). This will make a mess akin to crushing grapes, so it is no wonder the Lord's robe becomes stained with blood:

    Isaiah 34:2-3 - For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.

    Jacob gave some rather cryptic prophecies about his sons and their tribes before his death, but the prophecy for Judah most certainly points to the Messiah who came through his lineage. Jesus is the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5), from the lineage of kings (Matthew 1), rode on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:2-7, John 12:14-15), and will stain his garments in the "blood of grapes," alluding to the Lord defeating His enemies by treading them like grapes in a winepress:

    Genesis 49:9 - Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bows down, he lies down as a lion; and as a lion, who shall rouse him? The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. Binding his donkey to the vine, and his donkey's colt to the choice vine, He washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

    Judgment will come by the same Word of God who created the heavens and the earth:

    2 Peter 3:5-7 - For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
    Psalms 33:4-10 - For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth. He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD. By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.

    Jesus is the Word of God who spoke all things into existence and manifest himself into His creation:

    John 1:1-4, 14 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
    Hebrews 11:3 - By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.
    1 John 1:1-3 - That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life - the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us - that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

    God has exalted Jesus, the Word of God above every other name because He was obedient to His death on the cross:

    Philippians 2:8-11 - And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    Psalms 138:2 - I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.

    Revelation 19:14 - And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

    Jesus will return to the earth with the armies from Heaven. The following passages show that the Lord pre-incarnate has led a heavenly army in the past:

    Joshua 5:14-15 - So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" Then the Commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so.
    2 Chronicles 14:9-13 - Then Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and three hundred chariots, and he came to Mareshah. So Asa went out against him, and they set the troops in battle array in the Valley of Zephathah at Mareshah. And Asa cried out to the LORD his God, and said, "LORD, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O LORD our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!" So the LORD struck the Ethiopians before Asa and Judah, and the Ethiopians fled. And Asa and the people who were with him pursued them to Gerar. So the Ethiopians were overthrown, and they could not recover, for they were broken before the LORD and His army. And they carried away very much spoil.
    2 Kings 6:15-17 - And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, "Alas, my master! What shall we do?" So he answered, "Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, and said, "LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see." Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
    Psalms 68:17 - The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of thousands; the Lord is among them as in Sinai, in the Holy Place.

    The armies follow the Lord clothed in white and clean fine linen. Recall from Revelation 19:8 that fine linen represents the righteousness of Christ imputed to the saints that justifies them before God. A white and clean garment symbolizes salvation because sin is cleansed by the blood of the Lamb. Holy angels do not need salvation because they have not sinned, but since holy angels are pure and undefiled, they also wear white and clean garments like the saints. So, the Lord's "armies" include an army of holy angels and an army of saints. The following passages show that the Lord will return with both armies of holy angels and saints when He returns to the earth to execute judgment:

    Matthew 25:31 - "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory."
    Matthew 16:27 - For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
    2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 - ...and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    Jude 1:14-15 - Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, "Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."
    Zechariah 14:4-5 - And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley.... Thus the LORD my God will come, and all the saints with You.

    As discussed in Revelation 1:7, the heavenly armies that return with Christ are also called "clouds":

    Revelation 1:7 - Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.
    Daniel 7:13 - I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him.

    The white horses show the armies are riding in conquest (Revelation 19:11). The Lord commissions His armies to destroy His enemies who have gathered to make war against Him:

    Isaiah 13:3-6, 9, 11 - "I have commanded My sanctified ones; I have also called My mighty ones for My anger - those who rejoice in My exaltation." The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts musters the army for battle. They come from a far country, from the end of heaven - the LORD and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land. Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.... Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it.... "I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible."
    Revelation 19:19 - And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
    Isaiah 24:21-22 - It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.

    The Lord and His armies execute judgment with a "two-edged sword," which is the Word of God:

    Hebrews 4:12 - For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    The Word of God has the power to defeat both spiritual and physical enemies:

    Revelation 19:15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations....
    Matthew 10:34 - "Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword."
    2 Thessalonians 2:8 - And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
    Isaiah 34:2-3, 5-6 - For the indignation of the LORD is against all nations, and His fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; their stench shall rise from their corpses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood.... "For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made overflowing with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom."
    Isaiah 66:15-16 - For behold, the LORD will come with fire and with His chariots, like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury, and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; and the slain of the LORD shall be many.
    Psalms 149:5-9 - Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud on their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute on them the written judgment - this honor have all His saints. Praise the LORD!
    Joel 2:10-11 - The earth quakes before them, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon grow dark, and the stars diminish their brightness. The LORD gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great; for strong is the One who executes His word. For the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; who can endure it?

    The saints become soldiers for the Lord during their earthly sojourn (Philippians 2:25, 2 Timothy 2:3-4, Philemon 1:1-2), and while they will wear garments made of white and clean fine linen in glory, their armor is spiritual. In addition to using the "sword of the Spirit," or the Word of God, the saints are to take up the whole armor of God to fight the enemy during their lives, or in glory:

    Ephesians 6:11-18 - Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints....

    Revelation 19:15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

    As we saw in the last section, the Lord and His armies will war against the enemy with the Word of God depicted as a sharp sword that comes out of the mouth of the Lord (Hebrews 4:12, Psalms 149:5-9, Joel 2:10-11). We see this imagery of the Word of God likened to a sword earlier in Revelation:

    Revelation 1:16 - He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
    Revelation 2:12 - "And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, 'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.... "Repent, or else I will come to you quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth."'

    The Word of God is also likened to a rod from His mouth, or a rod of iron that the Lord will use to strike the nations and rule over them:

    Isaiah 11:3-5 - His delight is in the fear of the LORD, and He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of His loins, and faithfulness the belt of His waist.
    Psalms 2:5-9 - Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure: "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.'"
    Revelation 12:5 - She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne.
    Revelation 2:27 - "'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels' - as I also have received from My Father..."

    As discussed in Revelation 2:27, to rule with a rod of iron means that the Lord's rule will be just and punishment will be swift and harsh. Iron symbolizes strength that has the power to destroy (Daniel 2:40). A potter can mold a pot while it is still clay (Jeremiah 18:1-6). However, when the clay has hardened, if the resulting pot does not turn out as the potter desires, he has the prerogative to destroy it (Isaiah 45:9). Therefore, the nations will either be molded by the Lord willingly, or be "dashed to pieces" if their hearts are against Him. This same imagery was in Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the statue, where Jesus is the stone cut without human hands that hits the feet of the statue made partly with clay, destroying the entire statue that represented the Gentile kingdoms:

    Daniel 2:31-35, 44 - "You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image's head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. You watched while a stone was cut out without hands, which struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.... And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever."

    The Greek word translated "rule" can also mean to shepherd, and so the Lord's rod could also act as a shepherd's staff that could be used as a weapon to protect the flock from predators, which is fitting since the following passages describe the Messiah as a shepherd over His people:

    Micah 7:14 - Shepherd Your people with Your staff, the flock of Your heritage, who dwell solitarily in a woodland, in the midst of Carmel; let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in days of old.
    Psalms 23:1-4 - A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
    Isaiah 40:10-11 - Behold, the Lord GOD shall come with a strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him; behold, His reward is with Him, and His work before Him. He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and gently lead those who are with young.
    Jeremiah 31:10-12 - "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock.' For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, streaming to the goodness of the LORD for wheat and new wine and oil, for the young of the flock and the herd; their souls shall be like a well-watered garden, and they shall sorrow no more at all."
    Matthew 2:6 - 'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are not the least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you shall come a Ruler who will shepherd My people Israel.'
    Matthew 26:31 - Then Jesus said to them, "All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: 'I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'"
    John 10:14-16 - I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
    Hebrews 13:20 - Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant....
    Revelation 7:16-17 - "They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

    The Lord Himself will rule the nations, yet He gives the saints authority to reign with Him:

    Revelation 5:10 - "And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
    Revelation 20:6 - Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
    2 Timothy 2:11-12 - This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

    Similarly, the Lord grants authority for the armies of Heaven to fight against the enemy, as discussed in Revelation 19:14. The Lord also gives authority to the saints to judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Revelation 20:4), and we see throughout Revelation that the Lord grants authority to angels to mete out judgment and wrath, but that authority is solely the Lord's, as all authority is subject to His authority:

    Matthew 28:18 - And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth."
    John 5:22-27 - For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
    John 17:1-2 - Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him."
    Acts 17:30-31 - Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead."
    1 Corinthians 15:24-28 - Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.

    The Lord Himself will tread the "winepress" of the wrath of "Almighty God," which shows the Lord's absolute dominion, sovereignty, power, and omnipotence (Revelation 1:8). An angel will gather His enemies on the earth into the winepress:

    Revelation 14:18-20 - And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe." So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

    But Isaiah makes it pretty clear that the Lord does the treading alone when He kills the armies of the earth who gather against Him, because it is by His authority and by His word that He slays them, whether that word is spoken by the saints, or angels, or by the Lord Himself:

    Isaiah 63:2-6 - Why is Your apparel red, and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? "I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, and the year of My redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore My own arm brought salvation for Me; and My own fury, it sustained Me. I have trodden down the peoples in My anger, made them drunk in My fury, and brought down their strength to the earth."

    Revelation 19:16 - And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

    When the Lord returns He will defeat the kings and all the rulers of the world. The Lord will take their crowns (Revelation 19:12) and uproot their horns, or kingdoms and establish His kingdom to replace them all:

    Revelation 17:12-14 - "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."

    The Lamb will be able to overcome the beast and the kings who serve him, because He is the "King of kings" and "Lord of lords." These titles show that the Lamb has absolute sovereignty and dominion over all other authority, and over all creation:

      The phrase "king of kings" is used in Scripture six times. Once, the title is applied to God the Father (1 Timothy 6:15), and twice to the Lord Jesus (Revelation 17:14; 19:16). The other three (Ezra 7:12; Ezekiel 26:7; Daniel 2:37) refer to either Artaxerxes or Nebuchadnezzar, kings who used the phrase to express their absolute sovereignty over their respective realms (Persia and Babylon). The phrase "lord of lords" is used by itself in Scripture twice and refers to God the Father (Deuteronomy 10:17; Psalm 136:3).

      In Revelation 19:16 Jesus is given the full title "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS" (Revelation 17:14 switches it: "Lord of lords and King of kings"). The title indicates someone who has the power to exercise absolute dominion over all His realm. In the case of the Lord Jesus, the realm is all of creation. In John's vision, Jesus is returning to judge the world and establish His earthly kingdom, as He predicted in Mark 13:26.

      When Jesus is called "King of kings and Lord of lords," it means that, in the end, all other rulers will be conquered or abolished, and He alone will reign supreme as King and Lord of all the earth. There is no power, no king, and no lord who can oppose Him and win....

      Fundamentally, the idea of Jesus being King of kings and Lord of lords means that there is no higher authority. His reign over all things is absolute and inviolable. God raised Him from the dead and placed Him over all things, "far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all" (Ephesians 1:21-23).

      Source: Got Questions?

    The Lord will exercise His absolute sovereignty and dominion to displace every king reigning on the earth and every false god:

    Revelation 11:15 - Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!"

    Not only is the Lord the "King of kings" and "Lord of lords," but He is also "God of gods":

    Deuteronomy 10:17 - For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality nor takes a bribe.
    Psalms 95:3 - For the LORD is the great God, and the great King above all gods.
    Psalms 136:2-3 - Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever....
    Daniel 2:47 - The king answered Daniel, and said, "Truly your God is the God of gods, the Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, since you could reveal this secret."

    The Father promised His Son the kingdoms of the world because He followed the Father's will to become the sacrificial Lamb worthy to redeem the earth (Revelation 5:4), instead of giving into Satan's temptation to bow down to him to rule over the earth:

    John 6:38-39 - For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
    Luke 22:41-42 - And He was withdrawn from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
    Luke 4:5-8 - Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours." And Jesus answered and said to him, "Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.'"

    When Jesus came the first time He only claimed that he was King of the Jews, though it is interesting that the Romans wrote above Him on the cross that He was King of the Jews in three languages - in the Jew's native language of Hebrew, in Latin, the tongue of the ruling empire of the known world, and in Greek, the trade language of the known world:

    Luke 23:3, 36-38 - Then Pilate asked Him, saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" He answered him and said, "It is as you say...." The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself." And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

    This declaration in all three languages may foreshadow when Jesus will be King, not only of the Jews, but of all the earth:

    Zechariah 14:9 - And the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be "The LORD is one," and His name one.
    Psalms 47:2-8 - For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet. He will choose our inheritance for us, the excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with understanding. God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne.

    The Lord's name, or title: "King of kings and Lord of Lords" is written on His robe and His thigh. Recall from Revelation 1:13, Jesus wears a garment or robe with a golden band or sash that lay across His chest and waist:

    Revelation 1:12-13 - Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
    Daniel 10:5-6 - I lifted my eyes and looked, and behold, a certain man clothed in linen, whose waist was girded with gold of Uphaz! His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like torches of fire, his arms and feet like burnished bronze in color, and the sound of his words like the voice of a multitude.

    A garment, or robe, and a band, or sash, is part of the apparel of the high priest:

    Exodus 28:4 - And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.

    Since Jesus is the high priest of the heavenly tabernacle (Hebrews 8:1-2), it makes sense that He would dress in the ordained apparel of a priest. But Christ is coming to the earth in the role of conquering King, so perhaps when He returns He will wear a garment and a sash that better suits that role like those in uniform in the military, among royalty, and in pageants and homecoming school traditions, where sashes symbolize status or rank, or worn to display a title:


    sashes

    Sources: Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3

    As shown in the pictures above, a military or royal sash versus the sash of a high priest would lay across or on the Lord's robe and down to His thigh, as John described, and would more prominently display His title of "King of kings and Lord of lords" emblazoned across it.

    Revelation 19:17-21


    Revelation 19:17 - Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God...."

    John sees an angel standing in the sun calling out to the birds that fly in the air. The Greek word translated "sun" can also mean "sunlight." If the angel is standing in the sunlight it means Jesus has not returned to earth yet, because the luminaries go dark right before Jesus returns to the earth:

    Matthew 24:29-30 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
    Mark 13:24-26 - "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars of heaven will fall, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."
    Isaiah 13:9-13 - Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations will not give their light; the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. "I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, a man more than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth will move out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts and in the day of His fierce anger."
    Isaiah 24:18-23 - And it shall be that he who flees from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit, and he who comes up from the midst of the pit shall be caught in the snare; for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth are shaken. The earth is violently broken, the earth is split open, the earth is shaken exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like a hut; its transgression shall be heavy upon it, and it will fall, and not rise again. It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished. Then the moon will be disgraced and the sun ashamed; for the LORD of hosts will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem and before His elders, gloriously.

    In a few verses we will see that the angel calls the birds of prey before Jesus starts to war against the armies who have gathered against him:

    Revelation 19:19 - And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

    So, this scene takes us back to right before Jesus returns, like a mini interlude showing us what is going on below on the earth as Jesus is about to return from Heaven. The passages below show both scenes coming together, where the Lord destroys his enemies and feeds their carcasses to birds of prey such as eagles (Job 39:27-30), while preserving the righteous the way He did during the flood and when He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah:

    Matthew 24:27-28 - For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
    Luke 17:24-29 - For as the lightning that flashes out of one part under heaven shines to the other part under heaven, so also the Son of Man will be in His day. But first He must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all.
    Luke 17:30-37 - Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. "In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife. Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it. I tell you, in that night there will be two men in one bed: the one will be taken and the other will be left. Two women will be grinding together: the one will be taken and the other left. Two men will be in the field: the one will be taken and the other left." And they answered and said to Him, "Where, Lord?" So He said to them, "Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together."

    Similarly, when God's people rejected Him by breaking the covenant He had made with them He promised to send curses on them and the land, including defeat by their enemies. Their carcasses would become food for the birds and beasts:

    Deuteronomy 28:15, 25-26 - "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you... The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away."
    Psalm 79:1-5 - A Psalm of Asaph. O God, the nations have come into Your inheritance; Your holy temple they have defiled; they have laid Jerusalem in heaps. The dead bodies of Your servants - they have given as food for the birds of the heavens, the flesh of Your saints to the beasts of the earth. Their blood they have shed like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them. We have become a reproach to our neighbors, a scorn and derision to those who are around us. How long, LORD? Will You be angry forever? Will Your jealousy burn like fire?
    Jeremiah 34:18-20 - And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it - the princes of Judah, the princes of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf - I will give them into the hand of their enemies and into the hand of those who seek their life. Their dead bodies shall be for meat for the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the earth.

    The angel calls the feast of carcasses the "supper of the great God." At this supper the birds are the guests who feast on the flesh of God's enemies, which is in stark contrast to the "marriage supper of the Lamb," where the redeemed saints are guests who celebrate a marriage feast:

    Revelation 19:9 - Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."

    Jeremiah made a similar comparison between a carnage supper for the birds and beasts instead of a celebration between a wedded couple when God's people rebelled and He had to judge them:

    Jeremiah 7:30-34 - "For the children of Judah have done evil in My sight," says the LORD. "They have set their abominations in the house which is called by My name, to pollute it. And they have built the high places of Tophet, which is in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart. "Therefore behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "when it will no more be called Tophet, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter; for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room. The corpses of this people will be food for the birds of the heaven and for the beasts of the earth. And no one will frighten them away. Then I will cause to cease from the cities of Judah and from the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. For the land shall be desolate."
    Jeremiah 16:4-6, 9-11 - "They shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth." For thus says the LORD: "Do not enter the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away My peace from this people," says the LORD, "lovingkindness and mercies. Both the great and the small shall die in this land. They shall not be buried; neither shall men lament for them, cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them.... For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will cause to cease from this place, before your eyes and in your days, the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride. "And it shall be, when you show this people all these words, and they say to you, 'Why has the LORD pronounced all this great disaster against us? Or what is our iniquity? Or what is our sin that we have committed against the LORD our God?' then you shall say to them, 'Because your fathers have forsaken Me,' says the LORD; 'they have walked after other gods and have served them and worshiped them, and have forsaken Me and not kept My law.'"

    The beasts are not invited to the "supper of the great God" - only the birds of the air, but that might be because animals are part of the carnage, including horses and livestock, as we will see in the next section.


    Revelation 19:18 - "...that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

    As discussed in Revelation 6:15, John classifies the people as "the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man." Kings are rulers over the nations (Psalm 2:1-2). The "great men" are men who have great influence over people, but do not have an official ruling position (2 Kings 10:6). The "rich men" are the global elite, and the ones really in charge, as the whole world has become indebted to them (Proverbs 22:7, James 5:1-5). "Commanders" are military leaders (Judges 11:6, 1 Samuel 9:16). "Mighty men" are men of valor, or men of renown in battle. Slaves are people in bondage, and free men have liberty (Jeremiah 34:8-11, 2 Peter 2:19).

    In Revelation 13:16 we discussed that "small and great, rich and poor, free and slave" encompasses all people groups. So, the angel is inviting the birds of the air to feast on the carnage of every class of people at the "supper of the great God." As author John Walvoord was quoted as saying:

      "The divine judgment upon the wicked is no respecter of persons or station, and is
      the great equalizer of all."
      (Source: Blue Letter Bible).

    The following are two examples in Scripture where God judged one of the most powerful kings and one of the mightiest champions and left their carcasses for the scavengers:

    Ezekiel 29:2-5 - "Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. Speak, and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD: "Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers, who has said, 'My River is my own; I have made it for myself.' But I will put hooks in your jaws, and cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales; I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all the fish in your rivers will stick to your scales. I will leave you in the wilderness, you and all the fish of your rivers; you shall fall on the open field; you shall not be picked up or gathered. I have given you as food to the beasts of the field and to the birds of the heavens."'"
    1 Samuel 17:4, 44-47 - And a champion went out from the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, from Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.... And the Philistine said to David, "Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!" Then David said to the Philistine, "You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hands."

    God stripped this proud king and mighty champion of the honor and dignity of a burial, and made them a reproach by feeding their carcasses to scavengers. He will do the same to His enemies from all peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations who refuse to bury His two witnesses after the beast kills them:

    Revelation 11:3, 7-10 - "And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy one thousand two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth." When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. Then those from the peoples, tribes, tongues, and nations will see their dead bodies three-and-a-half days, and not allow their dead bodies to be put into graves. And those who dwell on the earth will rejoice over them, make merry, and send gifts to one another, because these two prophets tormented those who dwell on the earth.

    The angel also invites the birds to feast on the armies' horses. Isaiah and Ezekiel include livestock in the carnage, specifically from the area of Edom southeast of the Dead Sea all the way to Bashan in northern Israel, where many believe Christ will make His first strike when He goes to meet the Jewish remnant waiting for Him in the wilderness, as discussed in Revelation 12:6:

    Isaiah 34:5-8 - "For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; indeed it shall come down on Edom, and on the people of My curse, for judgment. The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, it is made overflowing with fatness, with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams. For the LORD has a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom. The wild oxen shall come down with them, and the young bulls with the mighty bulls; their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust saturated with fatness." For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, the year of recompense for the cause of Zion.
    Ezekiel 39:17-21 - "And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, 'Speak to every sort of bird and to every beast of the field: "Assemble yourselves and come; gather together from all sides to My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you, a great sacrificial meal on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood. You shall eat the flesh of the mighty, drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams and lambs, of goats and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan. You shall eat fat till you are full, and drink blood till you are drunk, at My sacrificial meal which I am sacrificing for you. You shall be filled at My table with horses and riders, with mighty men and with all the men of war," says the Lord GOD. "I will set My glory among the nations; all the nations shall see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them."'

    It is a twist of irony, instead of men offering God animals in a sacrifice, God offers the flesh of animals and people in a sacrifice to the birds of the air. The repeated focus on the word "flesh" draws us back to why God judged the whole earth the first time and why He must judge it again:

    Genesis 6:11-13 - The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth."

    Revelation 19:19 - And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

    John sees the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies gathering together to make war against the Lord and His heavenly army of horsemen. The kings of the earth are under the power and authority of the beast, but the beast is under the dragon, or Satan's authority:

    Revelation 17:12 - "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful."
    Revelation 13:4 - So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"

    As discussed in Revelation 16:13-14, the dragon, the beast, and his prophet, who exercises the beast's authority (Revelation 13:12) act as a counterfeit unholy trinity that sends unclean spirits to deceive the kings of the earth and their armies to gather them together to war against the Lord and his armies:

    Revelation 16:13-14, 16 - And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.... And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

    In the Old Testament, God used a lying spirit to lure Ahab to his destruction:

    1 Kings 22:20-23 - "And the LORD said, 'Who will persuade Ahab to go up, that he may fall at Ramoth Gilead?' So one spoke in this manner, and another spoke in that manner. Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD, and said, 'I will persuade him.' The LORD said to him, 'In what way?' So he said, 'I will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' And the LORD said, 'You shall persuade him, and also prevail. Go out and do so.' Therefore look! The LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has declared disaster against you."

    Likewise, God will allow the unholy trinity to guide the unclean spirits to gather the armies for His purpose to destroy them:

    Joel 3:9-12 - Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near, let them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, 'I am strong.'" Assemble and come, all you nations, and gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O LORD. "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations."
    Zechariah 14:1-3 - Behold, the day of the LORD is coming, and your spoil will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; the city shall be taken, the houses rifled, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.
    Isaiah 13:4-6 - The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like that of many people! A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together! The LORD of hosts musters the army for battle. They come from a far country, From the end of heaven - the LORD and His weapons of indignation, to destroy the whole land. Wail, for the day of the LORD is at hand! It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
    Zephaniah 3:8 - "Therefore wait for Me," says the LORD, "Until the day I rise up for plunder; My determination is to gather the nations to My assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them My indignation, all My fierce anger; all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.

    The kings and their armies are so deceived that they believe they can defeat the Lord and His armies. They cannot reason, as the Lord turned them over to a debased mind (Romans 1:28), and gave them strong delusion (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12), so they plot this "vain thing" to set themselves against the Lord, but it is so absurd that the Lord mocks and laughs at them:

    Psalms 2:1-5, 12 - Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, "Let us break their bonds in pieces and cast away their cords from us." He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the LORD shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, and distress them in His deep displeasure.... Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

    As ludicrous as it is, Satan has long thought He could usurp God:

    Isaiah 14:12-15 - "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit."

    Satan was able to deceive a third of the angels to follow him, as discussed in Revelation 12:9. But Satan's desperate effort to gather human military might against God shows his limited power and arrogance to think he could muster enough forces to defeat the Almighty - both spiritual and human. It is laughable (Psalm 2:4) because they are no match to Almighty God (Revelation 19:15). Even if Satan somehow concedes internally he is going to lose, he still tries to wreak as much havoc as possible in an effort to subvert God's plan and take down as many as he can with him:

    Revelation 12:12 - "Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time."
    1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

    God will finally put an end to Satan's schemes after He attempts to defeat God again at the end of the Millennium, in a last-ditch effort by deceiving the rebels from the nations to gather to battle against the Lord. After an anti-climactic defeat, Satan is cast into the lake of fire:

    Revelation 20:7-10 - Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    Revelation 19:20 - Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

    During the war between the beast, the kings of the earth and their armies against the Lord and His armies (Revelation 19:19), the beast and false prophet are captured:

    Isaiah 24:21-22 - It shall come to pass in that day that the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, and on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and will be shut up in the prison; after many days they will be punished.

    The beast and false prophet had either fled Babylon before God destroyed it, or they were already in Israel where the beast had set up a residence after he had conquered the land earlier in the Tribulation (Daniel 11:41-45). We are not told who actually captures the beast and false prophet. Perhaps an angel such as the one who captures Satan after the war is over captures them:

    Revelation 20:1-3 - Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.

    John summarizes the transgressions of the false prophet who exercises the beast's authority. There is more detail in Revelation 13:11-17 about how the false prophet deceives people into worshipping the beast and his image through lying signs and wonders, and forces the world to take the mark of the beast to buy or sell in homage to the beast:

    Revelation 13:11-17 - Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon. And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth - by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

    The beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. As discussed in Revelation 9:18, brimstone is solely used in the context of God's judgment against wicked humans, against fallen spirit beings, and against places like Sodom and Gomorrah and Babylon who had wicked inhabitants. The lake of fire is a different abode from the abyss and Hades located in the heart of the earth (Revelation 9:1). The lake of fire is the final and permanent place of everlasting fire and torment that was originally prepared for Satan and the fallen angels, but all who reject Christ will also end up there:

    Matthew 25:30, 41, 46 - 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.... Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels...' "And these will go away into everlasting punishment...."

    John specifies that the beast and false prophet are cast "alive" into the lake of fire. Recall from Revelation 11:7 that the beast will die of a mortal wound, go to the bottomless pit (Revelation 9:1), and rise from the dead, returning from the bottomless pit with his mortal wound healed:

    Revelation 13:3 - And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
    Revelation 17:8 - The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    Some have argued that the beast and false prophet are alive when they are cast into the lake of fire because they might not be fully human since they are both called "beasts." Perhaps the beast and false prophet are Nephilim, half human and half angel, as discussed in Revelation 9:5. However, even the Nephilim have mortal bodies, and the following passages show that the Lord will break and destroy the beast's resurrected body in fiery judgment, which shows that he is still mortal:

    2 Thessalonians 2:8 - And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
    Daniel 7:9-11 - "I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame."
    Daniel 8:23-25 - "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors have reached their fullness, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes. His power shall be mighty, but not by his own power; he shall destroy fearfully, and shall prosper and thrive; he shall destroy the mighty, and also the holy people. "Through his cunning he shall cause deceit to prosper under his rule; and he shall exalt himself in his heart. He shall destroy many in their prosperity. He shall even rise against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without human means."

    A thousand years later the beast and the false prophet are still in torment in the lake of fire:

    Revelation 20:7-8, 10 - Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations... The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

    The beast and false prophet continue in torment in the lake of fire because the spirit never ceases to exist, even though the Lord destroys both the body and soul of those who go to this place of eternal punishment. Note the word translated "hell" in the following passage is "Gehenna" which is a valley south of Jerusalem that came to symbolize the final place of punishment of the ungodly (Source):

    Matthew 10:28 - And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

    The destruction of the soul and the body in the final place of punishment is the "second death":

    Revelation 20:14 - Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

    The righteous receive eternal bodies in the "first resurrection" which is the resurrection to eternal life. The unrighteous "live again" in a "second resurrection" to condemnation, or spiritual death - the "second death":

    Revelation 20:4-6 - ...Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power....
    John 5:28-29 - Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth - those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

    The chart below shows the difference between these two types of resurrections to eternal life and to the second death:

    death and resurrection

    This second type of resurrection to eternal death must join the ethereal spirit with some kind of eternal body since it is a resurrection. Isaiah and Jesus spoke of such a body that is eternally tormented where "their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched" (Isaiah 66:24, Mark 9:43-48). As discussed in Revelation 9:2, torment is the process where the lost are continually burned with God's refining fire to pay the price for their sin. Their spirit bodies, or their "worm," act as a perpetual fuel for the fire to burn.

    Recall that the lake of fire was originally made for Satan and the fallen angels (Matthew 25:41). Angels are not triune like humans, having a spirit and an interdimensional body, but no soul, which is why they are not redeemable. As discussed in Revelation 9:5, the Nephilim are similar in that they only have a spirit and a physical body, but no soul, and are likewise not redeemable. But if God designed the lake of fire for eternal punishment of the fallen angels and they do not have any kind of resurrection, then it goes to reason that the second type of resurrection to the second death gives the unredeemed a spirit body like that of the fallen angels, just as the first type of resurrection to eternal life gives the redeemed a spirit body like the holy angels:

    Matthew 22:30 - For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven.
    Mark 12:25 - For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

    So, even though the physical bodies of the beast and false prophet die, they are thrown "alive" into the lake of fire because God gives them an eternal spirit body that never dies like the angels. Likewise, it is also inferred that all the lost would be thrown alive into the lake of fire in resurrected spirit bodies after they are given up from their temporary abode at the Great White Throne Judgment:

    Revelation 20:11-15 - Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

    We will see in the next section that after the beast and false prophet are cast alive into the lake of fire, the Lord kills the rest of the wicked. The second death, or destruction of the soul and division from the spirit (Matthew 10:28) does not happen until after the lost are cast into the lake of fire after the Great White Throne Judgment (Revelation 20:10-15). So, the wicked go to the temporary abode of Hades in the heart of the earth, or the outer darkness, awaiting the final judgment a thousand years later:

    Malachi 4:1-3 - "For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble And the day which is coming shall burn them up," says the LORD of hosts, "that will leave them neither root nor branch. But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this," says the LORD of hosts."
    Matthew 8:11-12 - "And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
    Matthew 13:49-50 - "So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth."
    Matthew 22:13 - Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
    2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 - ...since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day....
    Revelation 14:9-11- Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."

    Revelation 19:21 - And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

    After the beast and the false prophet are captured and cast alive into the lake of fire, the rest of the wicked are killed with the sword, which is the Word of God:

    Revelation 19:15 - Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

    The wicked are literally killed in judgment by the Word of God. The Lord promised in His word that He would avenge His servants, defeat His enemies, and destroy the nations who come against Jerusalem:

    Deuteronomy 32:40-43 - For I raise My hand to heaven, and say, "As I live forever, if I whet My glittering sword, and My hand takes hold on judgment, I will render vengeance to My enemies, and repay those who hate Me. I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, With the blood of the slain and the captives, From the heads of the leaders of the enemy." ' "Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people; For He will avenge the blood of His servants, And render vengeance to His adversaries; He will provide atonement for His land and His people."
    Psalms 110:1, 5-6 - The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool...." The Lord is at Your right hand; He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.
    Zechariah 12:9 - It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

    The Lord's judgment on the nations completes the time of Gentile rule on the earth (Romans 11:25-27, Luke 21:22-24), and is symbolized by the Lord on His white horse of conquest. The carnage of the wicked from those nations will be great and their deaths gruesome:

    Zechariah 14:12-15 - And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet, their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets, and their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths. It shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from the LORD will be among them. Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor, and raise his hand against his neighbor's hand; Judah also will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be gathered together: Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance. Such also shall be the plague on the horse and the mule, on the camel and the donkey, and on all the cattle that will be in those camps. So shall this plague be.
    Revelation 14:18-20 - And another angel came out from the altar, who had power over fire, and he cried with a loud cry to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, "Thrust in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe." So the angel thrust his sickle into the earth and gathered the vine of the earth, and threw it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trampled outside the city, and blood came out of the winepress, up to the horses' bridles, for one thousand six hundred furlongs.

    Apparently the carnage will be so widespread that even the animals are killed and only the birds flying in the air are spared. Then an angel will call the birds to feast to help clean up the mess:

    Revelation 19:17-18 - Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, "Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great."

    The following commentary summarizes how futile the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies are in thinking they could battle against the "King of kings and Lord of lords" (Revelation 19:16):

      How like the futility of humankind in their pent-up wrath and antagonism against God! In one moment, human beings stand in their physical might filled with hate and bitterness, attacking the very headquarters of the Christ. The next moment their flesh is food for the ravenous birds of the heavens. What a picture of the futility of humankind in pitting their will against Jesus Christ.

      Source: Revelation Unveiled - By Tim LaHaye

    In closing, the passage below captures the essence of what we learned in this chapter in Revelation. The Lord has absolute sovereignty and dominion over all other authority and over all His creation, and there is redemption for those who seek the Lord and destruction for those who strive with Him:

    Isaiah 45:6-9 - That they may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.' "Rain down, you heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness; let the earth open, let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together. I, the LORD, have created it. "Woe to him who strives with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, 'What are you making?' or shall your handiwork say, 'He has no hands?'

    *** Commentary for Revelation 20 Coming Soon! ***

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