A Study in the Word: Revelation 19:11-21


John is shown a vision of the return of Christ (19:11-16). These verses describe the Christ of Righteousness who brings justice to His people. Christ is given four names. He is “Faithful and True” (19:11; 3:14), the One who alone can reveal the magnificence of God (5:5-10). He comes as supreme royalty (“many crowns”) and discerner of justice (“eyes like blazing fire,” 19:12a). He retains His second name as a mystery (19:12b).

His third name is “Word of God” (19:13; John 1:1-18). Some believe the blood on His garment symbolizes the blood of those He defeats. Others see the blood as His own, a symbol of His shed blood on the cross. John Newport points out that in every other mention in Revelation of blood in connection with Christ it is His own blood (1:5; 5:6, 9; 7:14; 12:11). Mention of His own blood reminds of the price of the victory envisioned here. As the “Word” of God, He is Commander of the hosts of heaven (19:14). The word of His mouth acts as a battle sword to bring about justice. It is He who carries out the judgment fury of God (19:15; 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

His fourth name is “King of kings and Lord of lords” (19:16; Deut. 10:17). The New Testament scholar Deissmann says to make this confession was to “set vibrating a tense polemical feeling against the Caesars.” Jesus Christ is universally sovereign, not a usurper of that supreme office. The two locations of the name (“robe” and “thigh”) indicate this name will be openly displayed.

The battle is set, but its outcome is pre-determined (19:17-18). The battle that ensues will culminate with the punishment of Satan’s cohorts in the fiery lake (19:19-21). The beast of 19:19 is the sea beast of 13:1b-8, commonly known as the Antichrist. The battle here was prophesied in 16:13-16. That day has come. A great battle appears to be the quickest ever fought (“The Milli-second War,” 20:9). The beast (Antichrist) is captured (19:20). In the Old Testament a battle was over as soon as the opponent lost its leader (1 Sam. 17:51; 2 Kings 23:29-35). The false prophet, the earth beast known as 666 (13:11-18), is also captured (19:20). Two members of the unholy trinity are thus condemned. Their forces are destroyed solely by the sword of Christ, the “Word” of God’s will (19:21). Only Satan remains to be dealt with.


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