Revelation; Victory and Judgement- the Return of Christ

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posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:20 PM
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I want to offer some thoughts on the event in Revelation ch19 symbolised by the arrival of the rider on a white horse.

All the indications are that this rider is to be identified with Christ himself.

So I'm going to be asking the question; what is the impact of Christ's arrival on the scene?

The rider on the white horse is followed by the "armies of heaven", clothed in white linen and riding on white horses of their own.
They resemble the "riders from heaven" who make an appearance, on their own or in groups, in some of the stories of 2 Maccabees. For example;
"They were still near Jerusalem when a rider attired in white appeared at their head, brandishing golden weapons. With one acccord they all blessed the God of mercy and found themselves filled with courage..."-2 Maccabees ch11 v8
We can take it that this army has the same purpose- coming to the aid of God's people against their enemies.

The leading figure can be identified as Christ because the text names him as the Word of God, which obviously refers back to the first chapter of John's gospel.
When he made his first public entry into Jerusalem, he was a king who was "humble, and mounted on an ass."- Matthew ch21 v5
But now, in contrast, he's mounted as a warrior king.

Some of the other details in this picture connect him with the figure of Christ that appears in the opening chapters of Revelation.
He is the "faithful and true" witness in ch3 v14
His eyes are "like a flame of fire" in ch1 v14
He has "a sharp two-edged sword" issuing from his mouth in ch1 v16 (while he's destined to "rule the nations with a rod of iron" as the child born in ch12)
The faithful believer is promised a new name "which no-one knows" (that is, a new and spritual identity) in ch2 v14, and offered a share in the "new name" of Christ himself in ch3 v12
So this picture is clearly pointing us towards Christ.
And it looks like a fulfilment of the promise made in ch16 when the armies of the world were gathering at Armageddon; "Lo, I am coming like a thief".

At the same time, the picture's also pointing towards the Old Testament God of Israel.
Only the Lord God Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, could make the claim to universal sovereignty implied by the mutliple diadems and by the title "King of kings and Lord of lords".
That God is the Lord of hosts, "mighty in battle" (Psalm 24 v8), followed by great armies.
It is the Lord who "judges the world with righteousness"- Psalm 96 v13
It is the Lord who can be seen in garments sprinkled with blood, because he has "trodden the winepress" in wrath, coming to the aid of his people- Isaiah ch63 v3
So this event also looks like the fulfilment of what the Old Testament calls "the day of the Lord".

The common factor in the expectation of "the day of the Lord" is the Lord coming in power, setting things right.
Acting in power, God asserts his will and overcomes resistance.
"Setting things right" has to include the removal of all the wrong things of the world, so that involves an act of judgement.
That's why the Day of the Lord in Joel is also a time of "decision";
"Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat;
Fot then shall I sit to judge all the nations round about"- Joel ch3 v12
And that's why the overthrow of the Fourth Beast, in Daniel ch7, demands the sitting of a court of judgement.

There's a similar expectation in the New Testament relating to "the coming of the Son of man" (in the teaching of Jesus), or "the Day of the Lord Jesus Christ" (in the teaching of Paul).
The expected figure comes equpped with power, and the sequel is an act of judgement.
"When the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire..."-2 Thessalonians ch1 v7
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all his angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another..."- Matthew ch25 vv31-32

So those are the two elements of the expectation- victory and judgement.

Victory

The overcoming of enemies can be found in the last part of ch19.
The Beast and the kings of the earth and their armies have been gathered on the field of Armageddon, waiting to fight him, since the middle of ch16.
The summoning of the birds of prey to deal with the expected corpses has been borrowed from the account of the "final battle" with Gog of the land of Magog, in Ezekiel ch39.
But the real message in this graphic image is about the finality and thoroughness of the victory, the complete overthrow of the opposition.
I'm not convinced, in fact, that any prolonged, literal fighting would be necessary.
When the full strength of the Lord is brought to bear, that should be enough in itself to disable any powers of resistance.
Surely the "battle" would be over before it began; the victory would be instantaneous.

Judgement

The act of judgement can be found in the last part of ch20.
The great white throne is an echo of the judgement scene in Daniel ch7.
We're told that "from its presence, earth and sky fled away".
There's a more dramatic description of the same event in 2 Peter;
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up"-2 Peter ch3 v10
So the "day of the Lord", that day when Christ comes "like a thief", would also see the abrupt disappearance of this present world.
The judgement in this scene would therefore be taking place in a different kind of world altogether.

As in Daniel ch7, "books were opened" in front of the throne of judgement.
The dead are being judged on the basis of these records of what they've done.
But these records, if Paul is right, could only supply a reason for condemnation.
For Paul insists that no man can be found righteous in his own deeds;
"Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God..."- Romans ch3 v23
However, the records of deeds don't have the last word. They can be overruled, it seems, by "the Book of Life"
This book is a list of names.
Daniel is told that in the time of trouble "your people shall be delivered, every one whose name shall be found written in the book"- Daniel ch12 v1
While "the Lamb's Book of Life" in Revelation (see ch21 v27) is the list of those entering the new Jerusalem, and therefore escaping condemnation.

For the rest, though, there is the experience of "the second death".
By the time this judgement process is complete, everything that has no place in God's world has been thrown into the lake of fire.
At the end of ch19, it received the Beast and "the false prophet". These must be, respectively, the two "beasts" described in ch13, the beast "from the sea" and the beast "from the land".
Then the devil, in ch20 v10.
Then Death and Hades, and finally all those whose names were not written in the Book of Life.

But what is the significance of this "lake of fire"?
Are we to understand it as a cause of pain, or as a means of destruction?
While considering this point, it's worth noting that "Death and Hades", for example, are not living creatures. They're just names for something that happens to the human race. Therefore they would not be susceptible to pain.
The same would be true about the Beast, if the Beast is a corporate body (as I've always argued) rather than an individual.
In these cases, at least, throwing them into the lake of fire would be primarily an act of destruction. It would mean that they cease to exist in God's world, they disappear from human experience.
So that meaning may be applicable to the rest of the list as well, including those whose names were not found in the Book of Life.
This can be compared with Paul's teaching about the effects of Christ's Return. He says that those who do not know God "shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction (OLETHRON) and exclusion from the presence of the Lord"- 2 Thessalonians ch1 v9
While the image normally found in the teaching of Jesus is the "outer darkness", where "men shall weep and gnash their teeth"- Matthew ch25 v30 et.al.
These passages confirm that the fate of those not found in the Book of Life is
a) Not a state of living in the presence of God, and
b) Less preferable than living in the presence of God.
But we don't really know much more than that.
The real point is that they cease to have a presence in God's world. Like Death and Hades and all the deceivers, they cease to be part of the experience of God's people.
That is the main sense in which they are "destroyed".

So the impact of Christ's arrival on the scene appears to be God's final victory and the judgement of the world.
I've been treating them as two different aspects of the same event, and that seems to be justified by the expectation in the rest of the New Testament.
That's what happens when God comes in power- one thing leads on to the other.

But, in that case, what is to be made of the passage which separates them, in Revelation ch20, relating to the "thousand year kingdom"?
The answer, in the short term, is that I'm going to postpone the question to another occasion.

edit on 30-1-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:45 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Very intelligent interpratation. Timely as well. This will all come to pass.
SnF



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by randyvs
 

Thank you for that encouraging response.
It's very difficult to tell how close things really are, and I still think that a large part of Revelation is still to come.
But being prepared is always a good idea. "Not to be found naked" as ch16 says.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 05:37 PM
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N.B. Now that I've reached the Return of Christ, this series of threads on Revelation is evidently nearing completion.
So I'd like to advise anyone who may be interested that there will be an Index thread, in due course, intended to help people to navigate their way around the collection.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Relating to the "riders from heaven" in 2 Maccabees;
here is an example of the white or golden riders appearing as a group.

"When the battle was at its height, the enemy saw five magnificent men appear from heaven on horses with golden bridles and put themselves at the head of the Jews; surrounding Maccabeus and screening him with their own armour, they kept him unscathed, while they rained arrows and thunderbolts on the enemy..."
2 Maccabees ch10 vv29-30



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 07:38 PM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
I want to offer some thoughts on the event in Revelation ch19 symbolised by the arrival of the rider on a white horse.

It may be noticed that I make no attempt to relate this rider to the first of the "Four Horsemen" in ch6, who is also riding a whie horse.
This is because I do not identify them.
The episode of the Four Horsemen is one in which the world is attacked by four destructive "plagues".
The first horsemen needs to be one of them in order to fit the pattern; anything "benevolent" would be out of place, because these horsemen are an expression of God's wrath.

The argument is outlined n the attached threads;
Four Horsemen-Why?
Four Horsemen-How?
edit on 30-1-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 08:04 PM
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This is interesting to me. I will wait until your index is published and then I would like to start at the beginning.

Thank you.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by csimon
 

Thank you for your interest
In fact I'll be offering you three different ways of starting from "the beginning"; one of them, of course, being chapter number order.



posted on Jan, 30 2011 @ 09:26 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 

Revelation ch19 v12 speaks of the name of Christ "which no-one knows but himself".
In ch3 v12, he speaks of "my own new name".

Some people find a great mystery in this "new name" of Christ.
I suggested one interpretation in the OP, that it refers to the spriritual nature of the name, its reference to an identity which cannot be known carnally. That would make it equally applicable to the name promised to the believer in ch2 v17.

But if it has to relate to a literal new name, I don't know that we need to look any further than "Lord".
Paul describes how Christ received a new name as a consequence of the crucifixion and acsension;
"...obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed upon him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow...and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord"- Philippians ch2 vv8-11
This seems to hold good for the rest of the New Testament. Jesus is not normally described as "Lord" during his lifetime, either by the disciples or by the evangelists (this is one of the reasons why we know that Jesus was not the "lord" who commended the unjust steward). The title "Lord" is one that is applied to Jesus in Acts, the various epistles, and Revelation. In other words, it is given to him after the Resurrection. In other words, it is a "new name". So I think it is the "new name" which is on offer in ch3 v12.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by DISRAELI
This seems to hold good for the rest of the New Testament. Jesus is not normally described as "Lord" during his lifetime, either by the disciples or by the evangelists (this is one of the reasons why we know that Jesus was not the "lord" who commended the unjust steward). The title "Lord" is one that is applied to Jesus in Acts, the various epistles, and Revelation. In other words, it is given to him after the Resurrection. In other words, it is a "new name". So I think it is the "new name" which is on offer in ch3 v12.


I'm not sure about that... in the time of Christ, it was no longer allowable to say the name of God, and yet it was still necessary, so the term "Lord" was already in use, as a way of calling on the name of God, without saying it. So it was not really a title, more of a substitutionary name that equates in Hebrew as YHVH. See Name of God for a bit more background.

I think that it is more telling that Christ is referred to as Lord than it would be were it just a simple title. His three part name (or at least as he is most commonly referenced) "Lord Jesus Christ" is an apt description of him as God-Man-Messiah.

Disraeli, I'd like to take a moment to thank you for your series on Revelation, a difficult book to work through. I've enjoyed all of your insights and the tremendous amount of work that you've put into the articles.



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 10:25 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 

Thank you for those comments.
There's no need for us to quarrel about whether KURIOS is a name or a title. I actually used both words in that extract. My point was simply that the usage as a name for Jesus is essentially (though not entirely) post-Resurrection-
"...know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified"- Acts ch2 36
And that this was enough to make it a "new" name for Christ, for the purposes of the Revelation quotations.


edit on 31-1-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 10:33 AM
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Disraeli,
I as well would like to express my appreciation for this work you have done.
It is a masterful display of intelligence and faith.
I am still collecting my thoughts and ideas together on the things we have discussed.
I will probably post them at some time, perhaps on the index thread- at that time I may have my
thoughts together in a cohesive post.
Again, thank you for this series. It is very thoughtful and provikes intelligent discussion



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 10:35 AM
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reply to post by thegoodearth
 

Thank you for those comments.
Yes, the Index thread would be a very good place to post any remarks prompted by the series as a whole.
PS- I think two more threads will be sufficient to reach the end of Revelation.

edit on 31-1-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by DISRAELI
 


Hello Disraeli, I am a big fan of your work, and can't help but recognize the enormous, selfless effort you've put into sharing your knowledge with us. Haven't you thought of actually getting all this information together into a publishable book? I am confident you would have people interested in buying it (me, for once
). How about a self-published book?

Anyway, thanks again.

Cheers!



posted on Jan, 31 2011 @ 01:24 PM
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reply to post by RadioKnecht
 

Thank you for that suggestion. I'm not completely closed to the idea (these threads are a very heavy revision of a manuscript I've had for ages).
But this particular method of publication is a lot easier to organise, so it can be a first step or a substitute, depending on how things work out.



posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 04:29 PM
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How will the followers of Christ recognise him on his Return?

The crucial passage on this point is Matthew ch24 (and the parallels in the other gospels)
He says that the coming of the Son of Man will be "as the light comes from the east and shines as far as the west" (v27).
I take this comparison to mean "In an instant, and universally visible".
He then goes on to say "They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Whatever this looks like on the day, I think the point is that the arrival would be universally recognisable. When Christ returns, everybody will know. There will be no room for doubt on the matter.

Conversely, Matthew tells us how to recognise someone who is not the Christ.
"Then if anyone says to you 'Here is the Christ', or 'There he is', do not believe it."
"Do not go into the wilderness."
"Do not go into the inner rooms".
In short, if you have to go anywhere to meet him,.then he is not the true Christ. That's the rule of thumb. That kind of coming is not "as lightning", nor "on the clouds of heaven".

What causes confusion is the idea that he would return by being born into a new human life on earth. Then the question of "How to recognise him?" would arise.
But Matthew is telling us that anyone living a human life on earth here and now is by definition not the Returned Christ, and that solves the dilemma


edit on 15-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 15 2011 @ 04:48 PM
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Is the Beast the "Antichrist"?

It's become the custom to call him "The Antichrist", although the title doesn't appear in this book.
I must admit I don't like using the label, because it carries so many associations from mediaeval fantasy and Hollywood fantasy and other speculations. All this baggage tends to confuse discussion of the figure found in Revelation.

Let's get back to basics and consider the definition.
The disciples were told by Jesus that "many will come in my name, saying 'I am the Christ'"- Matthew ch24 v5
The early church was told by John that "as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come"- 1 John ch2 v18
The natural and reasonable assumption is that both references to "many" are to the same kind of people, and that an "antichrist" should be understood as someone claiming to be the returned Christ (taking the Greek ANTI as "in place of").

Does this apply to the Beast? There are certainly signs that Christ is being imitated, not only in the "horns of a lamb", but also in the business of "recovering from a mortal wound". I think the narrative is sending a sufficiently clear signal that he would, indeed, be claiming to be the returned Christ.

But if he publicly claims to be the returned Christ, then he meets the definition of an "antichrist" and belongs to that category. Since he would, presumably, be the final and supreme example of the species, I suppose you can call him "The Antichrist".

If you must.
edit on 15-2-2011 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2011 @ 02:36 PM
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There is now an Index, covering all these Revelation threads, at this location;

Index of Revelation threads

This thread is numbered as #39 in the "order of chapters" list and Biblical reference index.



posted on Oct, 9 2012 @ 12:10 PM
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Just to clarify;
Nothing in the OP is intended to suggest any particular prophetic significance in the year 2012 or the date 21/12/2012



posted on Oct, 17 2012 @ 02:21 AM
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quote:
How will the followers of Christ recognise him on his Return?

The crucial passage on this point is Matthew ch24 (and the parallels in the other gospels)
He says that the coming of the Son of Man will be "as the light comes from the east and shines as far as the west" (v27).

The light that comes from east to to west is the Sun. Christ will not come from above and straight down but travel like our Sun around the world and that way all inhabitants of the EArth will want to know what or who was it - Christ.





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