11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of His mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. ‘He will rule them with an iron scepter.’ He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On His robe and on his thigh he has this name written: ‘king of kings and lord of lords.’” ~ Revelation 19: 11-16
Here is the main idea of the passage: “An opening of Heaven introduces a vision sequence that signifies the last battle between Christ and forces of evil, resulting in their defeat and destruction. This passage shows the fulfillment of the single greatest promise of history: the Return of Christ to reign on Earth.” (ESV Study Bible Commentary)
11-16- “Christ appears to wage final battle against all the enemies of God, led by the beast and the false prophet. Christ’s holy attributes contrast markedly with the unholy counterfeit attributes of the beast (Revelation 13:1–10). This final war brings to a climax all the wars that God has waged on behalf of His people (Ex. 15:2; Deut. 20; Is. 59:16–18; Ezek. 38; 39; Hab. 3:8–15; Zech. 12:1–9; 14:3–5) and consummates the triumph achieved by Christ on the cross (5:9, 10; 12:10, 11; John 12:31; Col. 2:15). Some have interpreted the imagery as a reference to the spread of Christ’s rule through submission to the gospel, but the parallels with other visions show that the final battle is primarily in view (16:14, 16–21 and notes; 17:14; 20:7–10).” (R.C. Sproul’s Reformation Study Bible Commentary)
11-16- Jesus Christ returns to a hostile Earth. Nevertheless, the Son of Man returns in strength, authority, and glory.
12- Here we find a description of Jesus’ appearance as He returns. Vs. 13 states Jesus is called ‘The Word of God.’ This is a reference to John 1:1,
“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 was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5
15- The sword is a symbol of power. Likewise, the iron rod (or scepter) describes Him destroying the nations who turned against God or His people. Jesus is the Divine Warrior who comes to judge all.
16- “Jesus will wear a banner across His robe and down His thigh with a title emblazoned on it that emphasizes absolute sovereignty over all human rulers.” (John MacArthur Study Bible Commentary)
How is this text applicable in the 21st Century?
In today’s world, sex appeal is an excellent cajoler- one capable of altering the course of time. Brilliant speakers will draw crowds and sway the public with their captivating words. Charmers will charm with enchanting persuasions. Sexiness will tempt the tempted with seductive gazes. And strong willed achievers will inevitably dominate the weak.
Whether sex appeal is portrayed through one’s demeanor, attractiveness, emotional intelligence, effective communication skills, or a person’s ability to demand everyone’s attention when they walk into a room- people unconsciously gravitate toward sex appeal.
In Revelation 6:2, there is an individual who first arrives on the scene riding a white horse. His name is the Antichrist. Conventional wisdom tells us a few things of this mystic figure. Ultimately, he comes to conquer and many suffer in the end. Although in the beginning, he brings a false peace to the world. More than likely, he will be a great public speaker or have an uncanny ability to communicate effectively. Perhaps, he will also be sexy or easy on the eyes- conceivably even charming.
Though we do not know ALL the specifics, Scripture is clear that the masses will want to follow this person, until he eventually controls the world. When comparing the two texts between Revelation 6:2 and Revelation 19:12, there are many differences and a few similarities. Concerning the latter, both are riding white horses and wearing crowns. Nevertheless, when one analyzes the Greek in this text there is a divergence which is blatantly noticeable.
The Greek word used for crown in Revelation 6:2 is stephanos, which means the “victors crown.” Conversely, the Greek word for crown that Jesus Christ wears is diadema, the “Kingly Crown.” In essence, the two both arrive wearing different crowns. Essentially, the Antichrist is Satan’s version of the “Fake Christ.” Regrettably, millions still worship him.
“Fake” is a word we are all too familiar with these days…fake news…fake people…fake Christians…fake money…fake product…you get the picture. Authenticity can be hard to come by at times in the 21st Century. Make sure today you are not following a “Fake Christ,” at the hands of a False Teacher who does not preach the Bible wholly. And I do stress the whole Bible- both Old and New Testament in the proper context, as well as more than merely the red letters that Jesus spoke.
The Apostle Peter gave this warning, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…” 1 Peter 5:8-9 As Christians, we must be vigilant at all times. Satan has no boundaries. He will infiltrate a church, marriage, or elsewhere. Still, we are guarded by God’s power and the name of Jesus Christ. Yet, we must always be willing to surrender our hearts before Him, in humility, and wholeheartedly seek the Son of Man, as God’s Word serves as our compass to navigate through this life.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who brought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” 2 Peter 2:1
“The nature of the events shows how it differs from the Rapture. At the Rapture, Christ meets His own in the air- in this event He comes with them to Earth. At the Rapture, there is no judgment, in this event it is all judgment. This event is preceded by blackness- the darkened sun, moon gone out, stars fallen, smoke- then lightning and blinding glory as Jesus comes. Such details are not included in Rapture passages.” ~ John MacArthur
Additional Readings: Revelation 19
Prayer: Father God, I want to seek You today. I surrender my heart to Jesus, the One True Christ. Consume me today, and let my life authentically serve as a reflection of Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.