Our Savior Is Supremely Victorious

May 22, 2022 Speaker: Reid Strahan Series: Visions That Give Us Hope

Topic: Heaven and Eternity Passage: Revelation 19:11–16

Many people live much of their lives under a shadow of pessimism and despair.  Even good, solid Christians often show by their countenance OR their words, that they feel defeated, and have lost hope of victory. But there is a better way of living and thinking for us!  Because our Savior and our Leader, Jesus Christ is supremely victorious!

We have before us this morning, the most thrilling and exalted image of Jesus Christ in all of scripture.  It is the image of Christ at his second coming! This vision is meant to convince us that, in spite of all that Satan does, Jesus Christ will triumph in the end. It is meant to create a hope of victory, an expectancy of victory inside of us now!  The future belongs to Christ.  And if you belong to Him, everything is going to be alright!  But not just alright, victorious and glorious. 

Paul said, “[We are] waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing OF THE GLORY of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Our supreme hope is that Jesus Christ will return to this earth a second time, in unspeakable power and glory, to establish his kingdom! Jesus promised this!  “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with GREAT power and glory!”  Mk. 13:26  

He will come to deliver us from evil, to destroy every enemy, to create a new heaven and a new earth where we will live with him forever, in perfect joy, in perfect bodies, with no sadness, tears, death or pain. 

All history, every event, all creation is moving toward the second coming of Christ!  Every tick of the clock moves us closer to our blessed hope! And we are to live with that sense of expectancy. 

Paul said, we “wait eagerly” for the fulfillment of this promise.  We live IN hope of this glory.  It is like having the most awesome vacation you can imagine coming up, and you think about how grand it is going to be.  

Years ago I was in purchasing at DZ and we had to reject a lot of aluminum shipped from our supplier.  I felt bad for the salesman, who had become a good friend to have to deal with that. But when I broke the news to him he said, “You know what Reid,“My wife and I are leaving for Paris this weekend. And I don’t think anything could discourage me today.”  That is the power of hope on our emotions and hearts!  And we are going somewhere way better than Paris!  

This glorious return of Christ is what John sees here in Revelation 19. These verses do not reveal dates or timelines. They DO reveal the glory and the power of Jesus Christ who is coming to save us.  This is NOT a weak person who is coming to save us, and set things right.  

If somebody broke into your home and your whole family were in danger, would you want somebody strong and courageous, or weak and timid to come and save you?  You want the strongest, boldest person you know, armed to the teeth, to rescue you. That is what we have! a Mighty Savior, fierce and to be feared, is coming to save us. And we’re going to need that! 

The book of Revelation contains vision after vision of an end-time opposition to the LORD and to his people, that is MASSIVE and brutal!  It is global, it is supernatural, it is energized by Satan.  It is demonic forces intertwined with totalitarian governments and human rulers.  We need an all-powerful, Savior, willing to wage war and spill blood.  And that is what we are given here!

We are given a vision of Jesus Christ, breaking into this world, fully capable of putting down ALL rebellion, and to bring his people into eternal safety, from all enemies forever!    

Several years ago we were in Rome and went to the Sistine Chapel, where we saw Michael Angelo’s awesome painting of the last judgment.  It that painting Christ descends from heaven as a fierce warrior.  Our tour guide, introduced us to the painting by saying, when Christ came the first time, he came as a helpless babe. When he comes the second time, he will come as a GLADIATOR!  He comes with a sword, ready to fight, ready to deal out death and destruction to the enemies of God.  

I am SO GLAD we serve an All-Mighty Christ.  Jesus Christ is not afraid of anybody.  Exodus 15:3 Moses said, “The Lord is a Warrior; The Lord is his name.”  The ESV says, “The LORD is a man of war;”

I don’t know why anyone, who is on God’s side, would want God to be weak!  But it doesn’t matter what anyone WANTS God to be like, or Christ to be like.  All that matters is what the scripture says. And the scripture reveals Christ as someone his enemies should fear! And will fear! Greatly!!    

The world is fine with Jesus as long as he is presented as harmless, and wouldn’t disrupt anybody’s fun.  But when you talk about Jesus as the ONLY way to God or that he has authority as king and lord to rule over our lives, (every single aspect of our lives!) people react against that.  

We must acknowledge the True Jesus, and the Whole Jesus.  You can’t just accept part of Jesus!  The Lord Jesus IS gentle, kind, and full of compassion.  Jesus healed sick people.  He fed hungry people.  He befriended sinners.   If anyone comes to him, they will find him merciful and loving!  We rejoice in that. But Jesus Christ is also Mighty God!  He is King.  He is Judge!  And he is coming to judge the world.  And we rejoice in that too!!

The strongest thing Jesus did, the first time he came, was to flip over tables in the Temple!  He drove out the money changers with a whip, and scattered their gold coins all over the Temple floor.  That will look like child’s play compared to the strength, the fierce anger and the judgment poured out on his enemies at his second coming. 

There is an astonishing amount of revelation in these few verses about Jesus Christ!!   And I want you to see these things with me!  I want us to stand in awe of him together. I want us adore and worship him together.  This is our Savior who is coming for us!  Let this vision thrill you.  Let it give you bold confidence in him! Let it make you love him more! 

John begins in verse 11 saying “Then I saw heaven opened,”  The future was revealed to John by visions! He saw these things!  Here he sees heaven opened, not an open door, or window or a portal, but heaven itself wide open! 

“I saw heaven opened and behold, a white horse!” Jesus came into Jerusalem the first time, riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey!  He comes back the second time, riding a white stallion! Roman Generals, victorious in battle, would parade through Rome on a white horse followed by their captives and spoils of war.  The great generals of history from Caesar to George Washington to Patton, rode white horses. This image communicates that Jesus comes back to triumph over his enemies!  He comes back to win! 

Verse 11 goes on, “The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True”.  Christ is Faithful and True, through and through. He is the very embodiment of faithfulness!  There is not one shred of disloyalty in Christ.   Proverbs 20:6 states “Many a man proclaims his own loyalty but a faithful man who can find.”  Lots of people talk about being loyal, but faithfulness is SO RARE!  Jesus has it!  He is faithful and true!

He is faithful to you personally. Paul said, “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.”  His love for you is a faithful love!  John said, “Having loved his own who were in the world he loved them to the end”.  He will never withdraw his love from you! He will never leave you or betray you or desert you! 

AB Simpson wrote in a hymn, “All my change but Jesus never, glory to his name!”  Circumstances may change.  People change all the time but Jesus never!

Jesus Christ was faithful and true to his core mission, to die for our sins.  And he will be faithful and true to his promise to come again.  The kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of Christ and he will reign forever and ever! He will be 100% faithful and true to this promise of visible, total, eternal rule.  Nothing will stop him.  He will never be discouraged, or change his mind. Isaiah 42:4 says, “He will NOT grow weak or discouraged before He has established justice on the earth.”  What a promise! 

*Verse 11 goes on “and in righteousness he judges and makes war.”  Christ comes to judge the world and make war on his enemies.  He does this with perfect righteous!  When he judges the world it will be a righteous judgment!  And when he makes war, it will be a righteous war!   

First, it says, “HE JUDGES”. Many people do not know this but God the Father has handed ALL judgment over to Jesus Christ. John 5:22 Jesus said,  “For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.”  Acts 17:31 “he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness BY A MAN whom he has appointed; and of this, he has given assurance to all, by raising him from the dead.”  The MAN who was raised from the dead will judge the world! 2 Timothy 4:1 “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, WHO will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 

Second: He WAGES WAR. We have a book called Christ the Healer.  He is!! But he is also Christ the Warrior.  He MUST wage war.  The human and satanic powers, that are aligned against the Lord and the Lord’s people will NOT go quietly into the night.  If Christ did not wage war, there would never be an end to sin.  There would never be an end to Satan and to wickedness and it’s dominance on this earth. 

Verse 12 “His eyes are like a flame of fire,”.  This image communicates the supernatural, other-worldly, fierce power of Christ.  Regular people do not have flaming fire proceeding from their eyes.  Fire in the Bible is a symbol of God or the manifestation of his presence. The angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush.”  Jesus comes manifesting divine power, ready to judge. 

“and on his head are many diadems,” or many crowns.  A king wears a crown.  A crown represents his authority or his right to rule.  Most kings wear one crown. One of the Pharaohs of Egypt wore two crowns; one for ruling upper Egypt and one for lower Egypt. Christ does not wear one crown or two crowns.  He wears many crowns. Because he rules all nations!  Abraham Kuyper, said, “There is not a square inch in all the universe over which (Jesus) does not say: Mine!”  

“and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.”   There are three other names here, that ARE revealed to us! (Faithful and True, Word of God, King of Kings) but he has one other name, we don’t know.  Perhaps this name is simply beyond our ability to comprehend.  Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”  

Christ is infinitely great!  And there will always be more for us to learn about him!  Perhaps sometime in eternity we will get to learn this name!  

13 “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood,”. In this vision the robe covered in blood symbolizes battle casualties, the crushing defeat of his enemies.  In Isaiah 63:1-3 the prophet asks, “Who is this coming... with crimson-stained garments? Who is this robed in splendor, marching in the greatness of His strength?”  The Lord answers, “It is I, proclaiming vindication, mighty to save.” Isaiah asks,Why are Your clothes red, and Your garments like one who treads the wine press?” The Lord replied, “I have trodden the winepress.. I trampled them in My anger and trod them down in My fury; their blood spattered My garments, and all My clothes were stained. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and the year of My redemption had come.

Although much of this is symbolic, Judgment will NOT be a pretty sight.  Those who think God is either incapable of judgment or unwilling to judge are SO terribly deceived!  

“and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.”   God fully expresses and reveals himself in Christ.  Jesus Christ is God revealed to us. He said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father.”  He is the Word of God!

14 “And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.”  Just a few verses earlier we saw the bride of Christ dressed in fine linen!  We share in this great victory with Christ. Christ is our Commanding General.  The image is of us riding white horses and following Christ in victorious conquest!  (If you need a new self-image, how about that one!)  Someday, Christ will come for us, we will go to meet him, and then come with him in victory over his enemies. We are destined to reign, and rule with Christ!   

Verse 15 “From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations,”  This communicates the power of Christ, specifically the power of his word. One word from God’s mouth was able to create the world and when Christ returns one word from his mouth will strike down the nations. 

“and he will rule them with a rod of iron.”  He strikes down the nations and then rules them.  Psalm 2 “He said to Me, ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You….I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance.. ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron.’”  This was prophesied in the Psalms.  It was re-prophesied here in Revelation. 

Verse 15 goes on, “He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”  God will not put up forever with all the immorality and rebellion, the slaughter of innocent lives, all the resistance to his law and to his holiness.  The fury of his wrath will be unleashed one day. 

Robert Mounce in his commentary on Revelation said, “Any view of God which eliminates judgment and his hatred of sin in the interest of an emasculated doctrine of sentimental affection finds no support in the strong and virile realism of the Apocalypse.” You can’t read the book of Revelation and somehow come up with a God who doesn’t judge. 

But remember TODAY is the day of salvation!  God’s mercy and grace has been extended for a long time now!  No one needs to face the wrath of God or the judgment of Christ. Paul  said, we “wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is, Jesus who rescues us from the wrath to come.” 1 Thessalonians 1:10  We escape wrath by repenting of our sins and turning to Jesus Christ in sincere faith to save us.  1 Thess. 5:9. In Christ “we are not destined for wrath but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”.  That is where you want to be!

Verse 16 “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”  It is written on his thigh so everybody can see it!  This is the exalted, name of Jesus Christ!  Paul makes clear that because Jesus humbled himself in obedience, to the extent of going to death on a cross for our sins, he is given the name above all names!  

In the end all other rulers will be conquered and Christ alone will reign supreme as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  There is no one who can oppose him or stand in his way. Isaiah 40:23 “He reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.”

When you follow Jesus, you are following the highest authority in the universe. It is SO wrong for God’s people to place other authorities above Christ!  Persecution came to the early Christians because they would NOT say Caesar is Lord.  They reserved their allegiance for Christ alone!    

This vision is powerful, it’s stunning, it strikes a sense of awe and reverence in our hearts.  This vision of Christ is meant to infuse courage and hope in those who know and love him! (Yes, it would terrify those who do not love him and those who do not actively follow him.) But for those in Christ it is to give confidence that Christ will emerge triumphant over Satan and the false prophets and the beast and all those who follow them. It is to communicate to your heart that our God is mighty to save!  Christ is mighty to save.  We are in good strong, mighty hands!  And we are to live in that bold confidence!

Yes, we still have many trials to walk through. We still have many battles to fight.  But we see and we know the power and the glory of Christ who is coming for us.  And so we face the future with an expectancy of victory.  We see ourselves as “riding on white horses”.  We see ourselves as those who will reign and rule and be victorious with Christ.  Not because we are special!  But because we are with him! And because we are with him we win, and reign victoriously and gloriously.  

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