Revelation 19 & 20: The Rider on the White Horse

The End is Near

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. 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. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13, ESV)

Jesus is coming.  He'll be riding a white horse.

Jesus is coming. He’ll be riding a white horse.

The downfall of the great prostitute ushers in the time of the bride and great celebration in heaven.  The marriage supper of the Lamb is at hand, finally.  The Bride is depicted wearing bright, pure fine linen (v. 8) and Jesus the Bridegroom appears riding on a white horse. The last battle against the beast and the false prophet and all their minions is a slaughter.  The beast and the false prophet are captured and thrown into the lake of fire.  Shortly thereafter, Satan is sealed into a bottomless pit for a thousand years (Revelation 20: 1-3, ESV). Everyone else is slain by the Word of God.

During the thousand years in which Satan is effectively out of the picture, Christ reigns on earth.  But, he does not reign by Himself. Those believers who refuse to follow the beast and do not receive his mark and those who are killed for their faith in  Jesus during the great tribulation will reign alongside Jesus during this thousand year interlude.

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. (Revelation 20:6, ESV)

In this “first resurrection”, those believers who do not lose faith during the trials and tribulations revealed in this book will be rewarded for their faithfulness. “They will be priests of God and Christ”. These faithful ones are spared the judgement at the end of the thousand years after Satan is thrown into the lake of fire.

Chapters 19 and 20 mark the climax of Revelation.  Everything before has been leading up to these final encounters and this thousand year reign of Christ and His priests.  We can focus on God’s judgement of the world and those in it.  We can focus on God’s wrath during these times.  We can also attempt to sort out who’s who in the cryptic symbolism throughout this book. Think, though.  If those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior are the names in the Book of Life (vv, 20: 11, 15) and will therefore not be thrown in the lake of fire during the second resurrection, then the priests of Christ are a distinct subgroup of believers. It is entirely possible that a primary purpose of the great tribulation period is to test and purify this select group.  Believers, therefore will not be “raptured” before the trials as dispensationalists erroneously believe, they will be protected through the trials.  Through faith, that is, they will persevere and endure all that befalls them even to the point of death. Faith is the primary message of Revelation.  Faith in God and His Son Jesus.

Stay Faithful,

Christopher

 

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