Revelation – Christ is King!
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:11-16
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold…” In the book of Revelation, God gives a vision of the end times to the old apostle John, now probably in his nineties and in exile for his faith on the remote island of Patmos. John chronicles what he is shown and calls the vision, the Apocalypse, or the Revelation, which means revealing, unveiling, or taking the cover off something, in this case, the return of Jesus Christ.
The end of the first century was a dangerous time for Christians in the Roman Empire. Beginning with Nero the rulers of Rome had become more and more determined to rid the empire of Christ’ followers. Domitian, the latest emperor and possibly the most bloodthirsty, was making life miserable for Christians around the time John was writing the Revelation.
About twenty years earlier, Emperor Titus had destroyed the temple in Jerusalem, something Jesus said would happen. In Matthew 24 Jesus mentions the temple destruction just before talking about the tribulation that would occur before His second coming. Those who had heard these words from the apostles teaching would have doubtlessly connected the dots and believed Christs’ return was now imminent, that He would be coming any moment.
Some would be energized by the possibility and others would be burdened, unsure if they could make it through all the tribulation coming against them at every side. So our loving, omniscient God unveils the future for the church, the final victory of Christ and His eternal kingdom.
The Revelation includes at least three complementary themes:
First to the churches and Christians who are living through grievous tribulation, Hold fast, persevere, overcome the obstacles, and stand firm in the faith, for it will all be worth it in the end.
Then, it is also a book of prophecy that speaks in detail of a time to come in the future, the physical return of Jesus Christ.
And third, Revelation describes, allegorically, the ongoing conflict between God and Satan, good and evil, and the free-thinking people of God’s kingdom and unwitting pawns of the devil.
We shouldn’t be afraid to read Revelation. In fact, God promises a blessing for those who read and observe the book. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Revelation 1:3
When reading Revelation it is best not to get too caught up in interpreting what John meant in the language he used, equating his vision with modern technology, or figuring out various timelines and theories. Instead, just let the Lord minister assurance and love to you as He confirms that everything is going according to plan, God is in charge, The King is Coming!