Mike Bickle - Session 5 - The Bridegroom King: Waging a War (Rev. 19:11-21)

I. The Beauty of Jesus at the second coming

  1. Revelation 19 gives us more detail about Jesus as our Bridegroom King than any other passage.
  2. John highlights Jesus as the Bridegroom King in the final battle of natural history over Jerusalem. The context is Jesus making His royal procession into Jerusalem to destroy the Antichrist.
  3. This will be the greatest Day in natural history for believers—the day of the Lord.
  4. In Revelation 19, we see Jesus’ personality and how far He will go for the sake of love and justice.
  5. Jesus’ beauty will be manifested in great measure to all the nations at His second coming. As we meditate on what He will do at that time, we are able to see His personality behind the events.

    2In that day the Branch of the Lord [Jesus] shall be beautiful and glorious. (Isa. 4:2)

  6. In His activity in the Armageddon campaign (Ps. 45:2-4; Rev. 19:11-21), Jesus will be seen as the One more beautiful than all others. The Father proclaimed Jesus’ beauty (Ps. 45:17; Heb. 1:8).

    2You are fairer [more beautiful] than the sons of men; grace [power] is poured upon Your lips…3Gird Your sword upon Your thigh, O Mighty One, with Your glory and Your majesty. 4In Your majesty ride prosperously because of truth, humility, and righteousness… (Ps. 45:2-4)

  7. In all that Jesus does He combines love (goodwill and partnership), wisdom (skillful planning), tenderness (mercy), zeal (determination), power (victory), and justice for the oppressed.
  8. In Revelation 19:11-21, the Spirit highlights 12 aspects of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
    1. The Holy Spirit highlights eight aspects of Jesus’ activity in Rev. 19:11-16:
      1. His mode of travel (v. 11): On a white horse, in a military context as the conquering King
      2. His character (v. 11-12): He is faithful, true, righteous, and zealous in love.
      3. His actions (v. 11, 15): He judges, makes war, strikes the nations with a sword, rules them with a rod of iron, and treads the winepress of God’s wrath.
      4. His eyes (v. 12): Emphasize His zealous love and His perfect knowledge of all the details
      5. His crowns (v. 12): Express His past and future victories as a skillful ruler
      6. His names (v. 12, 13, 16): The unknown name, the Word of God, and King of kings
      7. His robe (v. 13, 16): Blood on His robe is connected to His name—King of kings
      8. His armies (v. 14): Armies with Him—shows His desire for partnership with His people
    2. The Holy Spirit highlights four aspects of Jesus’ activity in 19:17-21:
      1. Birds will be gathered: Jesus has power over all creation, even the birds (19:17-18).
      2. Kings of earth will gather with armies: Global hostility against Jesus and army (19:19)
      3. Antichrist will be defeated: Before all nations, assuring us of permanent victory (19:20)
      4. Birds will clean up: Jesus attends to every detail, even the clean-up of the dead (19:21).
  9. The nations will gather against Jerusalem (Joel 3:2, 12; Zech. 12:3; 14:2; Zeph. 3:8; Rev. 16:14).


II. the SCENE around Jerusalem at Jesus’ triumphal entry (Rev. 19:11-21)

  1. John describes Jesus entering the battle scene just outside Jerusalem (Rev. 19:11-21). Isaiah and the other prophets make it clear that Jesus will “march” to Jerusalem from Edom—modern-day Jordan 
    (Isa. 62:1-63:6; Joel 3:2, 12; Zech. 12:3; 14:2; Zeph. 3:8; Ezek. 38:4; 39:2; Rev. 16:14).
    1Who is this who comes from Edom [Jordan]…this One [Jesus] who is glorious…traveling in the greatness of His strength? …2Why is Your apparel red and Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? 3“I have trodden the winepress…and trampled them in My fury; their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, and I have stained all My robes.” (Isa. 63:1-3)
  2. The last chronological event in the storyline of Revelation before this great battle is the seventh bowl (Rev. 16:21), which is soon after the rapture of the Church at the last trumpet (Rev. 11:15). An angelic explanation describes Babylon’s destruction and the marriage supper (Rev. 17:1-19:10).
  3. John saw Jesus traveling to Jerusalem for the final battle in natural history (Rev. 19:19-21).
    11Now 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. (Rev. 19:11)  
    1. Heaven open: The phrase, heaven opened, describes John having a new vision. This starts a new section and indicates that John’s information came from a heavenly vision.
    2. White horse: Jesus will make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a white horse as the conquering King, in the context of a military conflict. White speaks of victory and purity.
    3. He judges: He will intervene with judgment in order to put things right. His judgments include establishing new leaders, laws, and policies that will help the poor (Isa. 11:4).
      4With righteousness He shall judge the poor…He shall strike the earth… (Isa. 11:4)
    4. He makes war: The most extreme judgment in history will occur in the largest, most violent battle in history. Jesus will restore order by destroying wicked governments.
    5. Faithful and true: He is faithful to fulfill His promises and is true to His loving nature in all that He does. Even in battle, Jesus will be faithful to love, justice, and truth.
  4. John sees Jesus’ eyes, His many crowns, and His mysterious name (Rev. 19:12).
    12His 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. (Rev. 19:12) 
    1. Eyes of fire: His eyes speak of His zealous love and perfect knowledge. His eyes of fire speak of His burning heart of desire for His people. His eyes are on fire because His heart is on fire.
    2. Many crowns: His many crowns speak of His past and future victories and His successful, proven leadership. This is not Jesus’ first battle.
    3. A name no one knows: Some aspects of His personality and activity will be totally unexpected. Facets of His name (v. 12, 13, 16) will be revealed at the battle of Jerusalem. 
      He will do things on that Day that will surprise everyone. No one fully understands His plans. His people will never exhaust the understanding of His majesty, even throughout eternity.
  5. Jesus’ robe is stained with the blood of His enemies as He fulfills God’s Word (Rev. 19:13).
    13He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God. (19:13)  
    1. Dipped in blood: His robe (outer garment) will be splattered with the blood of His enemies. Jesus has many types of garments, symbolized in the elaborate garments God commanded for the high priest (Ex. 28). The word dipped comes from the Greek baptô, translated baptize.
      3Their blood is sprinkled on My garments, and I have stained all My robes. (Isa. 63:3)
    2. Word of God: His goals and motives in this battle will be totally consistent with Scripture.
  6. Jesus desires partnership with His people, even as He takes over the nations (Rev. 19:14).
    14The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. (Rev. 19:14)  
    1. Armies followed Him: Jesus will enter Jerusalem with a vast army of angels and resurrected saints (Zech. 14:5; 1 Thes. 3:13; 4:13-17; Rev. 17:14). The Bride will appear with Jesus on the world stage for the first time in His royal procession into Jerusalem. The saints are called His army because they will participate in the battle, riding on white horses.
    2. White and clean: White speaks of bright (Rev. 19: 8) clothing, having the supernatural qualities of God’s glory and light (Ps. 104:2; Mt. 17:2). Clean speaks of purity. Raptured believers will be evaluated and rewarded when Jesus returns (Mt. 16:27; Rev. 11:18; 22:12).
      8 clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (Rev. 19:8)
  7. Our garments will express the love and righteousness in which we walked in this age. Each one will experience differing measures of God’s glory—even in their garments (1 Cor. 15:41-42).
  8. Jesus’ actions in judging the nations include striking them with the sword of His mouth, ruling them with a rod of iron, and treading the winepress of God’s wrath (Rev. 19:15).
    15Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of…wrath… (Rev. 19:15)
    1. Strikes the nations: By the decree of His mouth His end-time judgments will be released.
      4He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth… (Isa. 11:4)
    2. Rules with a rod of iron: Jesus’ rule over the nations will include dashing them to pieces.
      9You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces… (Ps. 2:9)
  9. Treads the winepress: The winepress is described in 19:19-21; Jesus replaces all the governments on earth in one event by killing its ungodly leaders (Ps. 110:5-6; Isa. 24:6, 21-21; 66:24).
    5He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath. 6He shall judge among the nations. He shall fill the places with dead bodies. He shall execute the heads of many countries. (Ps. 110:5-6)
  10. All nations on earth will see that Jesus is the King of kings (Rev. 19:16).
    16He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of kings … (Rev. 19:16) 


III. The Spirit highlights four aspects of Jesus’ activity (Rev. 19:17-21)

  1. Jesus will gather the birds for a great supper, feasting on the Antichrist’s army (Rev. 19:17-18).
    17I saw an angel…saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather for the supper of the great God, 18that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses…and the flesh of all people…” (Rev. 19:17-18)
    All the birds: There will be a supernatural gathering of birds. (Experts estimate that there are over 200 billion birds on the earth). These birds will clean up the carnage of the dead armies (Rev. 19:21) to prevent disease spreading in Israel at the start of the Millennium.
    The supper: Ezekiel’s prophecy calls this supper “God’s meal” (Ezek. 39:17-29).
  2. All kings will be gathered with their armies (Rev. 19:19; cf. Joel 3:2, 12; Zech. 14:2; Zeph. 3:8). This shows the global scope of the hostility and why Jesus’ violent action is necessary.
    19And I saw the beast [Antichrist], the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him [Jesus] who sat on the horse and against His army. (Rev. 19:19)
  3. The Antichrist’s defeat, in the sight of all nations, assures us of victory (Rev. 19:20).
    20Then the beast [Antichrist] was captured, and with him the false prophet… (Rev. 19:20)
    8Lawless one…whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth. (2 Thes. 2:8)
  4. Jesus attends to every detail, even the clean-up of the dead (Rev. 19:21). All the kings and their armies will be killed (Ps. 110:5-6; Isa. 24:6, 21-21; 66:24).
    21And 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. (Rev. 19:21)
  5. The leaders of Jerusalem will receive Jesus, a Jewish man, as their Messianic King.
    7Lift up your heads, O you gates [Jerusalem]...And the King of glory shall come in. 8Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle… (Ps. 24:7-8)
  6. Jesus will establish His throne in Jerusalem (Mt. 19:28; 25:31; Jer. 3:17). He will transition the earth to the millennial kingdom, as Israel and all the nations on the earth are born anew on one day.
    8Who has seen such things? Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Shall a nation
    be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children. (Isa. 66:8)
  7. Jesus is the “greater Moses” as He frees the captives of Israel (Isa. 11:11-12, 16; 27:13; Hos. 11:11; Zech. 10:10-11). He is the “greater Joshua” when He leads Israelite refugees to the Promised Land, and the “greater David” when He wins back Jerusalem and establishes His tabernacle there! He will come as the “greater Elijah” when He removes all idolatry and turns the nations to God.