Stephen Caswell © 2004
Horses’ Long Wait For Rider
The most remarkable horse in the world has been kept in readiness since 1072 for the expected resurrection of Sultan Muhammad Ibn Daud. The sultan ruled Iran as well as a large contiguous territory between the Tigris and the Oxus and his reign has been termed Iran’s Golden Age. He extended the frontiers of his country through conquest and expansion, accumulating great wealth in the process.
As soon as he died and was laid to rest, myth and legend seized upon his memory, embroidering it with prophecies derived from national yearnings. It was said that he would rise from his tomb, mount his horse and lead his subjects to new conquests and glory. So strong was this belief that in all the intervening centuries a thoroughbred charger — complete with saddle and groom — has been kept in readiness before his tomb in the Mosque of Kuchan, province of Khorasan, waiting for the day when the dead sultan will emerge from his tomb to resume the reins of both mount and government. It is one of the strangest manifestations of enduring faith and loyalty to be found in the modern world.
Of Course this story is only a legend. It won’t happen. But, Jesus Christ will soon return to the earth on a white horse to vanquish evil and establish His righteousness kingdom. When He comes again Christ will come with clouds and every eye shall see Him. Three main things stand out concerning Christ’s return; Purity, Power and Purpose.
(Put Chart showing Rapture and Second Coming on OHP)
Revelation 19:11: 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.
a. Christ’s Integrity
When God the Father decides that it is time for His Son to return He opens the heavens. He will no longer hide the glory and majesty of His Son. In Revelation 4:1 John saw a door opened in heaven and having received an invitation entered in. But here God opens the heavens and His Son comes to the earth in victory. Every one will see God and will always be able to from then on. The word opened is in the perfect tense. It will happen and remain that way. Tragically not only will believers see God but the damned will see the Lord from their abode in hell. Revelation 14:9-10. This will add to their pain.
Jesus Christ returns to earth riding a white horse; a symbol of victory and power. He is called faithful and true. Jesus Christ is faithful to fulfill His promises and true to His character. He promised to return. His work is done in righteousness. Even though Christ judges and makes war, He does this with absolute integrity. Christ doesn’t act out spite or personal pride but out of righteousness and holiness. His justice is fair and appropriate. Every one condemned to hell will acknowledge that God’s judgment is fair.
b. Christ’s Glory
Christ’s appearance is also described in Revelation 1:13-16: and in the midst of the seven lampstands One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
There are a number of passages that indicate that Christ will return in glory and majesty. Every one will see Jesus Christ return. They will see Him come with power and authority. Matthew 26:64: Jesus said to him, It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven. Revelation 1:7: Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen. How will the wicked respond to the sight Jesus Christ, God’s holy Son coming back to the earth? Matthew 24:30: Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
c. Christ’s Holiness
When Jesus Christ appears in the heavens He will be seen all around the earth simultaneously, like the lightning that flashes from one end of the sky to the other. All the tribes of the earth will mourn; every eye will see Him. Firstly the sign of His coming will appear in heaven. But He won’t return immediately. I believe that Christ will take His time in coming. He will allow the wicked to stew in their own juice. Their fear will increase as they see Him come on the clouds. They know that judgment has come.
They will be in absolute terror as they see a Holy God coming to execute Judgment. They will call the mountains to cover them from God’s glory and wrath. Revelation 6:15-17: And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?
2 Thessalonians 1:6-10: since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
Holy, Holy, Holy
Philadelphia pastor James Montgomery Boice once spoke to a discipleship group on the attributes of God. He began by asking them to list God’s qualities in order of importance. They put love first, followed by wisdom, power, mercy, omniscience, and truth. At the end of the list they put holiness. That did surprise me, Boice later wrote, because the Bible refers to God’s holiness more than any other attribute. The Bible doesn’t refer to God as Loving, Loving, Loving! Or Wise, Wise, Wise! Or Omniscient, Omniscient, Omniscient! But over and over we read the cry of the angels, Holy, Holy, Holy!
Revelation 19:12-16: 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.
a. Perfect Knowledge.
To rule well a king must know his subjects well. Jesus Christ’s eyes are like a flaming or flashing fire. He sees all and knows all. Nothing is hidden from God’s sight. The Lord searches out all things. He knows the deepest, most hidden thoughts people have. Hebrews 4:13: And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Nothing will be hidden from Christ when He returns. He will execute judgment upon all sin and on all sinners.
b. Perfect Authority
Jesus Christ has many crowns upon His head. Earthly kings rule over a particular kingdom. Jesus Christ, the King of Kings rules over all of creation, the entire universe. His power is supreme. Matthew 28:18: And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Jesus Christ is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is God’s chosen King. He alone is worthy to receive honor and glory. He leads the armies of heaven on white horses. This speaks of his authority over all. Christ possesses a powerful sword and rod of iron. These he uses to rule with.
Dan 4:34-35, 37: And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever: For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven And among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, What have You done?
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.
Miraculous Interventions In History
A tide was kept back strangely for twelve hours once, and so a host of Christians in Holland were saved from slaughter by the Duke of Alva. A tremendous wind once scattered the Armada of Spain over the wastes of the North Sea, and so Protestant England was spared to the world. Thus has God interposed and protected his children.
c. Infinite Wisdom & Majesty
There are many things we cannot understand about God, and maybe we never will. His unknown name speaks of mystery. We will never fathom the greatness of our Lord. Paul says, Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! Romans 11:33
Isaiah 40:13-14; 25-26; 28: Who has directed the Spirit of the Lord, Or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, And taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, And showed Him the way of understanding? To whom then will you liken Me, Or to whom shall I be equal? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, Who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, By the greatness of His might And the strength of His power; Not one is missing. Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
Revelation 19:17-21: Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great. And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.
God has plans for this earth and all His creation. The Lord will usher in justice and fulfill his purposes. Nothing can prevent this from coming to pass. Some scoff that everything continues like it always has. They claim that Judgment will not fall. Christ won’t return, they say. But they are so wrong. God is patient with them, giving them time to repent.
Revelation - Christ Is Going To Win
A janitor would wait patiently each week for a group of seminarians to finish their basketball game. While he waited, he would study his Bible. One day, as the seminarians were leaving the gym, they noticed the janitor carefully reading the text in his lap. One young man asked which biblical book was the subject of the janitor’s study. The old man answered, The Book of Revelation. The ballplayer was surprised and asked the janitor if he understood the complicated book. Oh, yes! the man answered. I understand it. It means that Jesus is gonna win! That’s a most accurate analysis on Revelation.
a. Christ Will Make War
Verse 11 says that Jesus Christ will make war and judge with righteousness. When He returns Christ will defeat His enemies with a sharp two edged sword that proceeds from His mouth. I believe that this refers to the words that He will speak. God’s Word is powerful. Hebrews 11:3a: By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God. Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. The word that spoke creation into being will defeat Christ’s enemies when He comes in power and glory. Jesus Christ will simply speak the word and destroy His foes.
The Antichrist will gather an army together to fight against Israel. Revelation 16:12-14, 16: Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
2/3 of the Jewish people will be killed. Then the remnant will call on the Lord to save them; and He will. The Lord Jesus Christ will return to save Israel from destruction by the Antichrist. Then the Antichrist will fight against the Lord Jesus Christ. Foolishly, he will oppose the King of Kings. Psalm 2 describes this futile attempt. The battle will be fierce but brief. This great army will be utterly destroyed and the birds will devour them.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-8: For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. Verse 15 says that Jesus Christ will also execute God’s vengeance upon His enemies. God’s wrath is as great as His grace. Where God’s grace, mercy and patience are spurned and rejected His vengeance will be applied in full measure. A calm sea is serene and peaceful, but stay away from it when it is stirred up. So too God’s wrath must be feared. God avenges His people who have suffered a long time. God’s justice was delayed for people to repent, but when it falls it will be severe.
Isaiah 63:1-4: Who is this who comes from Edom, With dyed garments from Bozrah, This One who is glorious in His apparel, Traveling in the greatness of His strength? — I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Why is Your apparel red, And Your garments like one who treads in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone, And from the peoples no one was with Me. For I have trodden them in My anger, And trampled them in My fury; Their blood is sprinkled upon My garments, And I have stained all My robes. For the day of vengeance is in My heart, And the year of My redeemed has come.
b. Christ Will Judge
Enoch prophesied, Christ would come with His saints to judge the world. Jude 14-15: Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.
Revelation 19:20 speaks of the judgment of the Antichrist and the false prophet at the Battle of Armegeddon. They are both cast alive into the lake of fire. Revelation chapter 20 describes Christ’s judgments in greater detail. Revelation 20:4: And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. This judgment probably refers to the judgment of the nations described in Matthew 25:31-46, and perhaps the judgment of the fallen angels spoken of in 1 Corinthians 6:3.
The first judgment takes place prior to the 1000 year reign of Christ. Another judgment takes place after the 1000 year reign of Christ. Revelation 20:11-12: Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. This judgment is known as the Great White Throne Judgment. The wicked will stand before Christ and be judged according to their works. The Book of life will also be open to show that they are not saved.
c. Christ Will Reign
After defeating His enemies, Jesus Christ will reign over the earth. He will take control of the kingdoms of this world and make them His own. Daniel 2:44-45: And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever. Inasmuch as you saw that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold — the great God has made known to the king what will come to pass after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation is sure.
Not only is Jesus Christ worthy to rule. He has the power to rule. Jesus Christ, the Stone cut without hands will take control of the kingdoms of the world. He will maintain righteousness in His kingdom by ruling with a rod of iron. Sin will not be tolerated during Christ’s 1000 year reign. Judgment will be swift, righteousness will prevail. He will give the kingdom to His saints who will reign with Him. The meek inherit the earth. Revelation 20:6: Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
The prophets have foretold it, Christ’s coming is certain.
Be Diligent – We Don’t Know When Christ Will Come
Mexican jails are not known for their tidiness or orderliness. Shortly after having taken office, the then President of Mexico, Luis Echeverria, decided to do something about this. Without giving any advance notice, he chose to visit the jails at midnight. He found guards away from their posts, prisoners not taken care of, and other discrepancies between the expectations and reality. He proceeded to fire people and clean up the system. We never know when our Lord may come. Let us not be lax in our responsibilities so that the Lord finds us lacking.
1. Purity: Firstly, the Lord is Pure and holy. He keeps his promises. He is good. Therefore we ought to live holy lives. This begins with our salvation. Only Christ can remove our sins and make us holy. Then we must live pure lives in God’s service.
2. Power: Secondly, The Lord is powerful. He is able to judge and make war. He has the authority to reward and punish. Therefore we ought to fear only Him. He can protect His children. He has perfect knowledge, wisdom and power. He is a loving ruler.
3. Purpose: Thirdly, The Lord has a plan for the universe. His plans will most certainly come to pass. This gives us hope and confidence for the future. Christians have a wonderful future before them because God is going to make all things new.
Are you ready to meet the Lord when He returns? Has He saved your from your sin? Or are you living under God’s wrath? Brethren are you serving the Lord? Will you be found faithfully serving Him when He comes?
Revelation 22:20-21: He who testifies to these things says, Surely, I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.