Capturing the Bad Guys (The Gruesome Ending of All God’s Enemies) — Revelation 19:11-21

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by Reverend Anthony R. Locke Sermon Series in Revelation # 38 Revelation 19:11-21 English Standard Version

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.

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. [1]


Last Sunday’s sermon ended with a glorious benediction in verse 9. Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

It was a big deal if you could scoring tickets to the wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton. To receive a personal invitation to the wedding proved your high social status or that the royal favor was upon you.

Well, what does it say about you if God invites you to the celestial wedding? How should you feel about your standing with God the Father when you hear the invitation to the marriage of the Son of God to the Church of God.

Friends, we are so blessed. We are washed in the blood of the Lamb. Our sins are forgiven through the work of Christ on the cross. Our name is written in the Lambs Book of Life. Jesus is personally attending to the preparations in Heaven for those of us who love Him.

The Bible encourages us with words of blessing and calls us to faithfulness until we see Jesus face to face. The Bible also speaks about the judgment of sinners.

God will not let the guilty go free. If we are not saved, then we are doomed. God’s judgment grinds very fine. We can’t escape His reach. Jesus will drag sinners in before the holiness of God to receive their just recompense.

Now, this judgment talk is a stumbling block for the unconverted. Those who don’t obey the commandments find it highly offensive that anyone would dare judge them for their private choices. They feel that no one has the right to speak to the morality of their choices.

The fact that Jesus calls them into judgment makes no difference. The masses of this world hold no reverence for the glory of Jesus. They have no respect for the authority of Jesus. They hold no awe for His power and majesty.

This world breaks the Kings commands with impunity. Adam and Eve joined the Dragon in a rebellious and hateful rampage toward God. That rebellion and insurrection has raged for hundreds and hundreds, thousands and thousands of years.

Praise the Lord it won’t continue forever. =)

One day soon God will again send His only begotten Son into the physical realm of this planet. Jesus will show up in all His glory and splendor with orders from the Father to finish out the victory He already won at the Cross. Jesus will have orders from the Father to tie up loose ends, squash the resistance and bring an end to the conflict.

Jesus will not make His Second appearance riding a young donkey. He won’t need to be led around slowly and stately over Palm branches. No. Jesus will arrive on a war horse in a full gallop ready to wipe the floor with His enemies.

The Bible says that Jesus will be riding a white horse at His Second Coming. I have a hard time imagining that He will actually be riding a horse that is white. I am not saying He won’t, but this is allegorical. We need to see beyond the mental images and behold to the truth it represents.

General Patton was said to enter the theater of politics riding a tank. He didn’t have diplomatic skills, yet he was loud and proud. Well, the Bible says that Jesus leads a cavalry. In military terms, a cavalry was the most powerful organized army during the life of John the Apostle.

John’s point? Jesus won’t be coming back meek and mild. He will be ready to win every battle he chooses. With eyes of fire he will engage all battles!

Jesus will be coming to tell the truth. I love that the Bible calls Jesus the Faithful and True witness. I can see in my mind’s imagination the Accuser of the brethren reminding God of all my sins. No escaping my failures.

But then Jesus stands before the Father and speaks about His blood and His suffering for my transgressions. And because of that testimony by Jesus, the charges against me are dropped and I am not just released, I am robed in the garments of Heaven and invited to the celestial wedding.

Our eternal destiny is changed by the redemptive activities of our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. 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. Prepare yourselves!

His eyes are like a flame of fire  We saw this in chapter one. The gaze of Jesus can warm the soul or burn a hole through lies and hypocrisy. Nothing will escape His attention. On his head are many diadems  Jesus has already won the battles over sin and darkness, over death and the grave. Jesus holds the keys of Hell as an Olympic champion holds a gold medal.

And Jesus has a name written that no one knows but himself. A little mysterious to be sure. We know Jesus as Creator and Redeemer. In Heaven we will know Jesus with a new name that represents His work of Glorification and the New Creation.

Verse 13 reminds us that we can know Him today through the Word of God. Jesus is the eternal Logos. John explained this in great detail in his Gospel.

Jesus is the word spoken by the Father who alone can implement the Divine plan of Creation and Redemption. Jesus becomes the incarnate word during Advent, and Jesus is now known by by us through the inerrant written Word of God. In the future we will know Him as fully as we have been known.

Jesus is already splattered with the signs of battle verse 13. He has on His own hands the scars of His suffering. On His feet and hands, and on His side, are wounds that will forever speak of His obedience to the Father and His love for His people.

And Jesus isn’t just splattered, His clothes are drenched for He takes the lead in the wetwork over His enemies. Believers do not participate in these battles. We do not judge.

But we are with Jesus. After the marriage Supper of the Lamb, Jesus is always seen, and the saints are always seen, connected together. We are never apart. We are united with Him, not just in His baptism, death, burial, resurrection and ascension, but in His glorification and in His reign.

We are not clothed for battle. We are wearing the Wedding garments of a few verses earlier.

And Jesus brings this world to conclusion according to the Word of this prophesy. It is the standard by which all things are called into account before God, therefore the mouth of Jesus carries the Sword of the Word of God.

Jesus is the King of Kings. Jesus is the Lord of lords. I fell like singing Handel’s Messiah! King of Kings. Lord of lords. King of Kings. Lord of lords. And He shall reign forever and ever! And the context of this Hallelujah is while we watch Jesus bring His judgment. Surprised?

Verse 17-18 remind us that all of humanity will fall under the Sword of the Word of God. Free men, slaves, white and black, tall and short, old and young, small and great. No one barters with God, negotiates, compromises or amends the written Word of God.

This book is our final exam. The answer to every question is Jesus. By faith we submit our life to this book. We look to Jesus and we are transformed. We are Christians, disciples of Christ.

Verse 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.

Friends, please make sure your life is not in league with the Devil. Make sure your faith is in Jesus alone for your salvation. Make sure your actions are not betraying your faith.

If you are not in league with Christ, then you are being led by the Dragon in daily hostility to Jesus and the Father’s Kingdom of light and truth.

I was getting some exercise at the Mall of Georgia this last week and passed by the Victoria Secret store three or four times. And each time I passed I wondered, do the people in their marketing department know that they are using the Devil’s methods to sell some very nice undergarments.

And there’s television sets in the windows of stores selling other items, and each presentation was trying to invoke greed and envy, lusts and desires that would only serve to separate me from Jesus.

This world is not organized or operated by people submitted in a relationship with Jesus Christ. This world is out of control in their hostility to God. They are constantly working toward a secularism that shuts God out of politics, culture, and the schools. Your heart is also a target.

But the world won’t try to separate us from God forever. Jesus is coming on clouds of glory, prepared for battle, to crush the leader of this ubiquitous rebellion.

The Dragon pulls strings from behind the scenes. The world machine is the Beast. The False Prophet orchestrates group think, a public consensus, the immoral influences which lead others into secularism.

And all who are deceived by this world will be surprised that their rejection of God led them to side with the Devil. They are blind to the real power behind this world. They are blind to who they really serve.

Jesus will put handcuffs on those worldly forces that lead people into darkness. God is going to capture and cast them into the Lake of Fire which is a place soon to be described.

This is not the arrest and imprisonment of the Devil, or the Dragon, but of the Earthly personifications of his power as represented in the Beast and the False Prophet.

There will be no resurrection of this rebellion. No further skirmishes. God calls the birds of the air to remove the impurity and filth that they leave behind.

Again, look beyond the literal and see the meaning of the image God describes.

God is going to destroy the works of darkness. God will remove their influence over the souls of men. God will then clean up the mess. God doesn’t sanctify the remains after battle. All the enemies of God are removed and remain unclean . . . eaten by vultures.

The good news is that the devastating and horrific impact that the Devil has made in this world will forever be removed. This world will be recreated as though sin never happened.

The salvation that God the Father brings through the work of Jesus Christ is absolute and everlasting.

Do not doubt the power of God to save your troubled soul. Trust Jesus.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing, were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he; Lord Sabaoth, his name, from age to age the same, and he must win the battle.

Last night my youngest son Eli was singing, Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb, because Jesus Christ was born.

That’s a nice twist on an old nursery rhyme. We know Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away our sin. That’s right. Mary was his mother. We had a good laugh.

But on the day of His Second Coming the children could sing that Mary had a little LION. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is all grown up. He will exercise His rights as the King. He will expand His territory over all places that the Devil controls. He will inaugurate iron rule.

Are ready for the King? Are you ready to see Jesus? May God bless us to confess our participation in the Dragon’s rebellion and by faith receive the wedding garments.  Amen


[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. 2001. Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.


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