Revelation 19 – Return of the King
Good evening. Welcome to Fuel – our Mid-Week Bible Study. Our Thursday night fill up, if you will. Just like a car needs fuel to go where it’s supposed to go and do what it’s supposed to do, we need fuel. We need to be filled up on the Word and the Spirit so we can power through this life God has given us. Like the Word says, we want the Word of Christ to dwell in us richly. We want God’s Word to be so deeply implanted – so deeply cemented inside of us that the cares of this life, the worries, the temptations, the trials – nothing on earth and nothing in hell can lead us away from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. Amen?
Now if you’re joining us for the first time, no worries. We’ll catch you up with a quick review and then we’ll jump right into the Word. Also, just be advised, all the teaching we’ve done so far. All the handouts, all the messages, and all the slides are posted online at my blog, which is http://www.antiperish.com. If you go out there you’ll see a link named Daniel at the top and if you click on that link it will take you to a Table of Contents page where you can access the details from any previous sessions.
So tonight, we are continuing the Epic Saga that is the book of Daniel. In about 600 BC, Daniel, along with thousands of other Jewish people found himself living in exile. Uprooted from his homeland and taken captive we find Daniel and his 3 friends. Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael set apart with the best of the best of the captives to be reprogrammed from being Jewish to being Babylon and to serve the King of Babylon in his court as Wise Men. Daniel and his friends quickly distinguish themselves from all the others by making the courageous choice to serve God in this foreign land. Rather than just going with the flow and enjoying their prestigious new positions, they take a stand for God. As they step out in faith, God pours out favor on them and King Nebuchadnezzar finds them 10x’s better than their peers.
And if that wasn’t amazing enough, last time we saw Daniel being used by God to do what none of King Nebuchadnezzar’s other advisers could do. The king has a troubling dream that nobody could tell him. He flies into a rage and commands the execution of all his advisers. Which would include Daniel and his three companions.
In a stunning display that showed the difference between the one true God and the demonic power the occultist advisers operated in, Daniel gives the King the dream and the interpretation.
The dream was of a huge image. Head of gold – Arms and chest of silver – midsection of bronze – legs of iron – feet a mixture of iron and clay.
And Daniel explains that each section of this image was a different kingdom throughout world history.
The head – Babylon. The Arms and Chest. (Medo-Persia). Midsection – (Greece). Legs – (Roman Empire). And feet of iron and clay which we saw that even though their were many theories regarding it, two things we knew for sure was 1. The antichrist was going to come from this final kingdom, and 2. Jesus would eventually destroy this kingdom and establish his kingdom that would never pass away. Like it says in Revelation. The kingdoms of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of His Christ.
Now as the king hears this young Hebrew boy laying all this out he is incredulous. When Daniel is done, he actually falls down and starts worshiping Daniel, if you can visualize that! Daniel gets a twofold promotion. He is now the governor of the province of Babylon, and the leader of all the wise men of Babylon. He also promotes his 3 friends so he has some allies, now that he is in such a high position.
That’s where we left off, and that’s where we will pick up tonight
Scripture: Daniel 2:44-45
Ok, are you ready? Like I said last time we are going to be taking a little trip tonight. We are going to head out of the book of Daniel for a bit and spend some time in the book of Revelation.
But before we do let’s look at the key text from Daniel that we want to look at.
Daniel 2:44 – 45
44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
So Daniel here is concluding his interpretation of this huge, shiny, terrifying image that Nebuchadnezzar dreamed about.
And the key thing here is that in all its might. In all is glory. In all its terror – Satan’s world system will ultimately be destroyed. As we look out at the trouble of our world, sometimes it’s hard to even stop and look at it. We saw another brutal terrorist attack in France this week. We’ve got ISIS, AKA the Islamic State perpetrating unspeakable atrocities in Northern Iraq and Syria. We’ve got human trafficking, Racism, classicism, sexism. We’ve got people calling evil good and good evil. Famine, disease, and war. As we look at all this, it could be enough overwhelm us, but the bottom line is Satan’s longevity is not infinite. There is a definite end.
And the end may be in site. Jesus told us this. He said, “Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Lift up your heads. Be encouraged. And let’s get on fire for God. Amen?
Daniel is showing us this here. This Stone (which is Christ) will ultimately destroy this final Satanic kingdom.
And God is not content with just giving us an overview. He loves to give us in-depth details. And he does just that in the book or Revelation. Turn if you would to the book of Revelation – Chapter 19, verse 11
Human history is heading somewhere. There has been a definite beginning, and there will be a very definite ending and just as the Mississippi River is constantly flowing towards its end, which is the Gulf of Mexico, All the books of the Bible and all of human history are heading towards the events described in the Book of Revelation.
Revelation opens with John, (called the disciple whom Jesus loved) exiled to the island of Patmos because he wouldn’t stop telling the world about Jesus. Interesting – Daniel is in exile when God gives him his greatest revelations. John is in exile as well, when God gives him The Revelation. Paul was in prison when he received many of his revelations.
You might feel like you’re in exile. You might feel like you’re set aside. You might be in your worst time, but hang on. It might be the beginning of your greatest moment. God can speak to you in that place, if we’ll listen.
Now, The Word Revelation, is the Greek word apocalupses and it’s where we get the Word Apocalypse.
It literally means the unveiling of something that has been previously hidden, and the full title is “The Revelation of Jesus Christ.” So that’s why it’s called Revelation, singular, and not Revelations, plural.
Although it contains many revelations, its main theme is the unveiling, or revealing of Jesus Christ as the final and ultimate King. In the gospels, we saw him as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. We saw him as a lamb. But now we see him as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who has prevailed against satan, death, hell, and the grave. And we see him coming in the clouds with power and great glory, ready to take up the throne that only belongs to him Amen?
So that’s what Revelation is all about. It’s about the method God uses to ultimately transfer, by force, the kingdoms of this world to our God and to his Christ.
And so, when we get to chapter 19 we are already at the end of God’s program to take back the earth. And the method he’s uses is judgment.
3 sets of judgments to be precise.
The first set was the 7 seal judgments which were designed to wake people up. History is coming to an end, and God doesn’t want people to be caught napping. He is long suffering, not willing that any should perish. Even now as we see the things coming upon the earth, it should cause us to wake up. I have a good friend who came to Christ right after the twin towers came down. He says 9/11 was his wake up call. So these first set of judgments are a wake up call for the earth, and there is evidence that it does just that. There are many Bible teachers who believe very strongly that the greatest influx of souls will come in during the Tribulation (which is when the judgments occur).
So the first set of judgments are the seal judgments. 7 seals. Then we see the trumpet judgments. They were more intense than even the seal judgments. God is still patient. He could just wipe out the earth at this point, but I believe he still sees the seed of faith within the hearts of the undecided and so he doesn’t finish it just yet. He gives one more chance. With this set of judgments the inhabitants of this earth will either make a commitment to Christ, or they will willingly submit and take the mark of the Beast, which is a very clear acceptance of the devil and a very clear rejection of Jesus. They don’t have to worry about being tricked into taking the Mark. I believe it will be very clear to those still around during this period what they are doing. Satan likes to counterfeit things that God does and so just like we make a public profession of our faith in and acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Mark is all about making a public proclamation that you are rejecting Christ, and in fact, accepting the antichrist… chilling stuff to say the least.
So God executes his plan to take back the earth.
And finally, when there are no more who will accept Christ, the final judgment, which are the 7 bowls of wrath.
And finally, as the culmination of these bowls of wrath – When all is said and done – Jesus himself returns with the armies of heaven, which, if we have put our faith in Jesus, will include us.
So, in Daniel we see the overview of this. You see why this is so cool? The Stone cut from the mountain without hands strikes the image on its feet and annihilates it. That’s the overview. Now, as we look at Revelation we see that what Daniel was witnessing was the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. And God is going to give us the play by play of how this happens. Let’s look at Revelation 19, verses 11-16
Scripture: Revelation 19:11 – 16
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
So here we go. The fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy of the Stone smiting the feet of the image in detail.
The bowls are being poured out and John looks up and sees heaven open. And what does he see? A white horse with Jesus sitting on it, and also the armies of heaven. John is witnessing the most massive and powerful invading force ever assembled.
Now, before a massive invasion there is always a staging operation. Where the invading force converges together in one physical location and begins its move towards its opposing force. In Operation Desert Storm during the staging operation of the 1st Calvary Division, I was sitting in the back of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and as I looked out I was stunned by what I saw. Stretched out across the Desert, as far as you could see in any direction, to the North, South, East, and West, was the most massive array of Tanks, Bradley’s, Armored Personnel Carriers, Field Artillery vehicles, Hum Vees, and more. In the air above Apache and Cobra helicopter gunships hovered. It was one of the most awesome sights I have ever seen. And that’s what we’re seeing here. Jesus and the armies of heaven are assembled in a staging area in heaven about to make their descent and invade the kingdom of the antichrist.
Now, in the beginning of the seal judgments in Revelation 6 we saw the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse. Here we see the rider of the 5th horse with His massive Army, – and it’s none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He is Faithful and True, and in righteousness He does make war. There is a righteous reason for War, and the only Just reason for War is to overthrow tyranny and injustice that holds people captive and that’s what’s in view here. Jesus, the Mighty liberator. Liberating creation from the clutches of the evil one.
Here we get another stunning description of Him. Remember this book is the Revelation or the unveiling of Jesus the Messiah, and we are being shown details about Him, that up until this book was written, were unknown about Him.
His eyes like a flame of fire denoting Justice and judgment. No evil or injustice can be hidden from the eyes of Him of whom we have to do. On his head are many diadems. Many crowns. There are two words for crowns, one is Stefanos, which means the victors crown, and is that olive branched crown athletes received when they won events in ancient times. This is not what He’s wearing here. He is wearing many diadems, and diadems are crowns that speak of Rulership, Dominion, and Authority. He is wearing crowns only a King could wear. His robe is dipped in blood. At first glance you might think this is His Blood that He shed, but most commentators agree, this is the blood of his enemies, who have perpetrated all the injustice and cruelty against the innocents here on earth. A lot of people say today, Why doesn’t God do something? Well, what we’ve seen here is that he patiently waited, giving people time to turn to Him, but eventually, times up, and He moves to rectify all injustices. Out of His Mouth goes the Word of God. And we know the Word of God is alive, and powerful. Sharper than any two-edged sword. But here we see it unleashed in full force. What an awesome site this will be, and what an awesome day that will be when we ride with the armies of heaven!
Scripture: Rev 19:17-21
17 Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God,18 to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.” 19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army.20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. 21 And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh.
So the apostle John is watching these things and first he sees heaven open and Jesus, with his massive force ready to conduct the invasion. But then his attention is diverted, and he sees an angel issuing a command for the birds of the air to get ready. What this is telling us is that there is getting ready to be a lot of bodies. There is going to be a massive battle with lots of casualties. But here’s the thing, the casualties are only going to be on one side. The casualties will be kings, captains, mighty men, and other soldiers.
As John continues to look he sees the beast. AKA – The antichrist – at the head of a massive army. They have just been through the tribulation, and they believe that now they have their shot. Now they get to go toe to toe with Christ, and they believe they will beat him and be done with him once and for all.
How ludicrous! How deceived will these folks have to be? You know they’ve already taken the mark, and the Bible is clear that once the mark is taken there is no turning back. So these folks are gathered to make war against Jesus and against his armies.
But that’s not how it plays out. In verse 20 we see that the antichrist is captured, along with his false prophet and justice is executed. Justice is swift and it is permanent. These two who, empowered by Satan, have caused so much pain on the earth, these two deceivers are immediately thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
Then this chapter ends with Jesus routing the remainder of his enemies.
So, what we’ve seen so far as it relates to Daniel – This event that we just read – directly corresponds to where in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream we saw the stone that smashed the images feet, and then the entire image was destroyed. At this point in Revelation, Jesus has destroyed all that was left of mankind’s kingdoms that lived in rebellion towards him.
But if we remember the dream it also says that God will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed. Let’s look at that in Revelation as well.
Scripture Revelation 20:1-6
Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. 2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, 3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer, until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a little while.
4 Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
And so ends the age of man’s rule apart from God. This is so important to think about. There is coming a day when all the pain. All the struggle. All the death and disease. All the tears and suffering. There’s coming a day when all of it will come to an end.
The beast and the false prophet are cast into the Lake of Fire. Then we see an angel. And this angel must be a site to behold. He is coming down from heaven and he has this huge chain and he has the key to the bottomless pit.
He reaches out and grabs the devil. And we get four names for him here so there is no doubt who we’re talking about. He’s the dragon, the ancient serpent, the devil, satan. Each one of them reveals something about him. But the angel grabs him and binds him with the chain and throws him into the bottomless pit. It says the duration of this imprisonment is 1,000 years.
1,000 years – AKA the Millennium. In Daniel’s vision God sets up a kingdom that replaces the kingdoms of the image and that’s what we see here. Jesus sets up his government. Thrones were given to those who had the authority to judge. Also, those who were killed for following Jesus and refusing to follow the antichrist. They reigned with Christ for a thousand years as well.
Bottom line – Jesus is coming back to the earth. He is coming back physically. He is coming back literally. He will overthrow the system that is in rebellion against him and bring in perfect peace.
And if you’re ready for that day – say amen!
So there we have it. Our little detour into the book of Revelation. Hopefully you’re seeing the cohesiveness of the Bible. 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over a period of 1500 years, in 3 different languages – Yet one continuous non-contradicting storyline. Mind blowing. Daniel 2 happened about 700 years before John wrote this and we don’t even know if John realized this was the fulfillment of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.
Until next time, may the Lord richly bless you and shower you with his favor!
FUEL meets Thursday nights at 6:30 at RockChurch,
located at 1081 Upper Spring Bay Rd in East Peoria