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The Glorious Return of Jesus Christ, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 22, 2022 4:00 am

The Glorious Return of Jesus Christ, Part 2

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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June 22, 2022 4:00 am

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It will be different when Jesus comes different than it was the first time as a warning of that in the 17th chapter of acts when it says in verse 31 you fix the day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom he has appointed what man man is coming back in battle is simple, it all comes down to which side you're on. That's an obvious oversimplification, but the truth is when Jesus Christ returns the difference between eternal agony and eternal bliss truly will be as simple as which side you're on. With that in mind. John MacArthur continues his current study on grace to you titled when Jesus comes with a look today at the triumphant return of Christ whom he's coming to conquer and who will be coming with him to help you find out where you're going to be in that scene. Here's John with today's lesson. It is our great privilege to open our Bibles to the 19th chapter of Revelation and to look at that great text which details for us. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Revelation chapter 19 verses 11 through 16. I want to read this text at such a powerful text want you to have it in mind. Starting in verse 11.

John of course is given this great vision while on the island of Patmos in exile for the preaching of the gospel. He says I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse and he who sat upon it is called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and wages war. And his eyes are a flame of fire, and upon his head are many diet dams and he has a name written upon him which no one knows except himself is clothed with a robe dipped in blood in his name is called the word of God and the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following him on white horses and from his mouth comes a sharp sword so that way that he may smite the nations you will rule them with a rod of iron and he treads the winepress of the fierce wrath of God the Almighty and on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, king of kings and Lord of lords. Here is the great presentation of the vision of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ now want to divide these verses up into three parts. The return of the conqueror of the regiments of the conqueror and the rule of the conquer the return of the regiments and the rule must look.

Then first of all the verses 11 to 13 and look at the return of the conqueror, the return of the conquer verse 11 and I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse and he was set upon it is called faithful and true, and in righteousness he judges and makes war again for another time in the book of Revelation.

Heaven is opened and we're going to see a glorious glimpse of heaven. A glorious vision of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It's very different than the one we saw chapter 1 where he was ministering in his church. Here he is obviously coming in fiery flaming vengeance is coming with a sort of judgment is coming with blood splattered garments.

This is the point of his return. This is the fulfillment of the promise of Jesus himself from his own lips in Matthew chapter 24, where he said in verse 27 just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpses is there there the vultures will gather. It'll be a time of great carnage immediately after the tribulation it'll happen sun will be dark and the moon will not give its light, the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken other words a whole universe goes pitch black.

Then the sign of the Son of Man appears in the sky all the tribes of the earth will mourn and they'll see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. He will send forth his angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together his elect from the four winds from one of the sky and of the sky to the other. That is, that which now is being described in Revelation 19. So as the scene unfolds. Our eyes are fixed on this majestic regal mighty rider. Heaven is open to us and we see the white horse and on the white horse we see the writer us talk about these details because they're important reason heaven is open. This time is to not let sin, but to let him out a number of times in the book of Revelation. Heaven has been opened and we been given access to that we can go back. For example, to chapter 4 and we remember, don't we, that John the apostle says in verse one behold, I looked in us, the door standing open in heaven. First voice which I heard like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me said come up.

I'll show you what must take place after these things and so the door will heaven was opened. In chapter 4 so John could go in and see you now the door is open, so the Son of Man can come out.

Jesus, the one who ascended to heaven as recorded in next chapter 1 the one who has been seated at the father's right hand is now coming back is going to receive the kingdom which the father had promised to him the kingdom to which he was entitled as you go back into chapter 5 you remember that the father was seated on the throne in heaven.

In his hand he held a book which is the title deed to the universe. When you remember no one in heaven or on earth.

Verse three or under the earth was able to open the book or look into it and the words no one had the right to take possession of the universe. No one had the right to open this sealed scroll and take possession. So John says I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or look into it and another was was the world always going to belong to the usurper to Satan to sin. Was there no one who could take it back. One of the elders said to be stop weeping. Behold, the lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the root of David is overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals and I saw between the throne with the four living creatures and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which of the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth that to a reference to Isaiah 11 and he came and took it out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne and there you have the Lamb, the son, Christ the Messiah having the privilege and the right to take the title deed out of the hand of God because it is his right to take the universe. Everyone's saying a new song worthy art thou to take the book and break it seals, for thou wast slain and did purchase for God with thy blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation that was made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God and they will reign upon the earth. You have a right to take possession of the world you have a right to establish your kingdom. And so the one who has a right now is on the edge of heaven in heaven is opened and he is about to come that great wonderful anticipatory prayer that comes from the 64th chapter of Isaiah's first couple of verses. Oh that thou what's rend the heavens and come down but the mountains might quake at thy presence as fire kindles the brushwood as fire causes water to boil, to make thy name known to thy adversaries that the nations may tremble at thy presence. That's the prayer O that thou, what is written in the heavens and come down and what Isaiah anticipated and prayed for in chapter 64 now unfolds in Revelation 19 is heaven is opened and is ready to come this time. John doesn't see a lamb in the midst of the throne. Rather, he sees. According to verse 11, a white horse. This is not a lamb.

This is a white horse riding on that white horse is the great conqueror of the Messiah writing. No longer will he rode when he wrote in his earthly life, but now coming as a conqueror to typical fashion of Roman triumphal procession is only mentioned something at this point would you capture this because very important what you have any imagery of this vision is a mingling of symbol and reality and you have to comprehend that all you do. You can't comprehend this.

There is language here that is the expression of reality and there is language here that is the expression of symbol course that symbol points to a reality.

People asked the question, does this mean there are real horses and have an answer. No, any more than it means that when Jesus comes. He's actually going to have dangling office had a whole Lotta crowns or that when he returns he's actually going to have sticking right out of his mouth between his lips some kind of sword, or any more than it means that all who come with them are going to be riding on a myriad of white horses. Listen, there is nothing to indicate anywhere in Scripture that horses get glorified that horses get eternally glorified and go to heaven. There is a mixture here of symbol and reality. This is not necessarily actual reality anymore than that Jesus Christ when he sets up his kingdom is going around the earth with a huge iron sticking his hand, mashing people's calls with yet it says you rule the rod of iron.

You have to understand that the symbolic language here expresses reality but in itself is symbolic of that reality symbol here that the majestic symbol here is of a Roman conqueror who is coming back in a triumphal procession is coming to a great battle to triumph and to enter into the glory of that triumph Gen. would ride the war on his white horse. He would come with his battle garb leading his tremendous battle troops, as it were, they would engage in war. When the war was one he would then come the room and up the via Sacra. The main street of Rome to the temple of Jupiter on the E and Hill. There he would enter into his glory. So the imagery is vivid.

John sees Jesus no longer is a lamb no longer as he was portrayed in Zachariah 99 coming in humility riding on the cold, full of an ass, but in this case he sees them as a conqueror white is not only the color of war chargers in the ancient Roman world, but it is the symbol of purity is the symbol of spotless mess of unblemished holy power and in fact everything in that imagery is in contrast to the humble, full of a donkey which Jesus rode into the city now becomes the conqueror. Now he comes as the warrior king. Now he comes to destroy the wicked to overthrow the Antichrist to bind Satan take control of the earth and the universe and establish himself as King of Kings and Lord of lords. The horses are symbolic sword out of his mouth. The symbolic the rod of iron is symbolic.

The crowns are symbolic what the coming is reality. The psalmist himself wrote of this event when he wrote in thy sword upon thy thigh, almost mighty with thy glory and thy majesty, thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king's enemies whereby the people fall under the by throne of God is forever and ever.

Even the psalmist under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to get a glimpse of the coming of God in the glory of messianic rule to establish his eternal kingdom and so we come Scripture tells us he comes in glory, we read that in Matthew 24 Matthew 25 in Revelation 17 it says when he comes every eye will see him obviously the whole world will of gone black and dark as we read to you.

Everything will be turned out, the blazing glory of Jesus Christ will come with such startling reality that everyone on the face of the earth will see him and he will come not only in glory not only visibly, but he will come with vengeance to judge and make war now at this point I want to digress for just a moment and just come talk to you about something you need to keep in mind there is nothing in this scenario that matches descriptions of the rapture of the church in the New Testament, there are two scriptures in the New Testament that refer to the catching away of the church.

One is in John 14 and the other is in first Thessalonians 4 John 14 one and following. First, this loan is 413 following both of those described the coming of the Lord for the church coming of the Lord for his beloved in John 14 Jesus said when I go away, I'll prepare a place for you and I will come again to receive you unto myself that where I am, there you may be also. I was not a warning that was a promise that was not an event to be feared. That was an event to be anticipated.

I'm going to prepare a place for you and I might come and get you and take you to that place that's very important because whatever the catching away of believers is it is something we long for. Look for love, anticipate, hope for because you going to come in is going to get us to take us to the place he's repairing for us.

Where is he now is in heaven. What you doing repairing a place for us in the father's house when he comes the judge he comes to the earth stays on the earth and sets up his kingdom here. The rapture is a very different event.

It's a catching away of the church into heavenly homes that have been prepared for the believers and that's why it's very difficult to see these two things at this as the same event at the rapture. Furthermore, Christ doesn't come to the earth. He meets us in the air here becomes all the way to the earth. He doesn't come down the media saying she brings them with and they follow him as they come in the rapture.

He comes and meets his saints in the air and takes them to heaven in the second coming comes all the way to worth with his saints and establishes their kingdom on earth at the rapture.

There's no judgment there's nothing in the text of John 14. Her first Thessalonians chapter 4 to speak of judgment, but here, everything is judgment rapture is a time of blessing. This is a time of cursing. There will be blessing for the godly. When he comes back, but the emphasis is here on judgment and no such emphasis is made with regard to the rapture at the rapture. As I said, he meets his own in the air and here he sets his feet on the Mount of olives.

According to Zechariah 14. He puts his feet right on the Mount of olives splits the Mount of olives creates a valley in which he judges the world and establishes his kingdom. Furthermore, the event of the second coming of Jesus Christ is preceded by blackness the dark and set on the darkened moon, the stars are falling smoke fills the universe.

Lightning and blinding glory introduce the coming of Jesus Christ.

Such aspects are not associated with his coming for his saints. In John 14 or first Thessalonians chapter 4 and that's why we believe that the coming for the church which we call the rapture, the catching away is a different event that precedes the coming of Christ in judgment to set up his kingdom and so we say we believe in a pre-tribulation rapture that is the Jesus catches away his own before the breaking out of the terrible judgments of his wrath.

During that seven. At the end of which he comes back to earth with his already rapture and saints to set up and to reign with him in the kingdom and so we see here then that Jesus is coming in judgment.

Fury is coming as a conqueror. Now let's looking at verse 11 and see some more about the return. It says that he who sat upon this white horse. The symbol of conquering and symbol of holy, pure power is called faithful and true is called faithful and true really there couldn't be a more appropriate name for the Lord Jesus. You remember he is called back in chapter 3 verse 14. The amen the faithful and true witness, so here for the second time Jesus is identified as faithful and true, he is faithful to his promises, he is faithful to whatever he promises and he speaks only the truth, faithful and true returns in the third chapter of Revelation the seventh verse is described as he who is holy, he who is true wise.

He called faithful and true because he's keeping his word. He promised he would come. He promised he would come and he comes, he is faithful to keep his word. He is faithfulness and truth personified by the way his name is certainly in vivid contrast to the unfaithfulness and the lying hypocrisy of antichrist and Satan. Jesus always tells the truth because he is the God who cannot lie. He is always the faithful and true one. He will always keep his word. He promised he would come becomes because he is faithful and true today. I'm sure there are many who would be happy to sort of a sort out the teachings of Jesus that they like teachings of Jesus that that fit their sentiments and a happily they would reject his solemn judgments, and his promises of fury and vengeance and wrath, but he is just as faithful and just to true is true to those promises is used to the promises of salvation and grace and mercy is faithful and true, and you're never going to see it more clearly than when he returns because he will be faithful and true to his promise to bring the righteous into a kingdom and to destroy the wicked. The Dragon is a deceiver. The beast is a false Christ. The second beast is a false prophet in the world or was it is filled at that time with false worshipers. But Jesus Christ is faithful and true, and because he is faithful and true, it says in verse 11 in righteousness he judges and wages war if he is faithful and true to his word.

He has to act in righteousness yesterday what is right is to have a holy and righteous reaction against sin, so he does faithful to his righteous character, faithful to his holy nature. True to his word. He comes when he comes he has to do what he promised to do what righteousness demands he do he judges once he came a Savior.

Then he comes as judge when he was here the first time wicked men judged him when he comes a second time he will judge wicked men. He will not only be the judge.

By the way, but he will also be the executioner remembered Isaiah chapter 11 that he treads the winepress of the wrath of God alone. Angels are not executioners angels are simply sort of the mop up crew. They are the sorting crew according to Matthew chapter 13, but he alone treads the winepress. He alone is the power to execute. He is the loan alone has the power to bring final fury in the wrath of God was a time when it is first coming. He was brought before Pilate and Herod and Caiaphas in Annas brought before the court before the crowd cried for his blood, and they judged him unrighteously. There will be a day when he comes back to judge the world righteously. It will be different when Jesus comes different than it was the first time as a warning of that in the 17th chapter of acts when it says in verse 31. He is fixed the day in which he will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom he has appointed what man the man he raised from the dead man, Jesus Christ was coming back to judge so we comes in fury to judge the world and then this most amazing statement and to wage war to make war becomes as a warrior king comes to fight back in chapter 2 verse 16.

Amazingly, astoundingly, it is recorded that he said to the church at Pergamum us. I'm coming to you quickly, and I'll make war against them with the sword of my mouth. He is a warrior against the ungodly and against the unbelieving and against the wicked and the sinful. By the way that mention of him making war in chapter 2 verse 16 is the only other mention of him making war and all of Scripture and then it will be too late for the reject her as they will obviously have been hardened beyond the point where they would respond positively, even in chapter 16 verse 21 when they are at the very culmination of the horrors of the last judgment when the last seal has been opened in the last trumpet blown in the last bowl poured out and hundred pound hailstones are crashing down on their heads, and you'd think they might repent. It says they blasphemed God and they are at the point of absolute hardness and this is when he comes, when there's no more point in waiting when nothing else will cause them to repent. When no judgment moves them and no preaching moves them and no preacher can reach their hearts. He will come back and he will make war truly a different Jesus than were used to seeing. Obviously were used to seeing in ministering to the needy, feeding the hungry, healing the sick, casting demons out of people giving peace to troubles troubled hearts were used to hearing them inviting those with heavy burdens to come to him for rest, but that's not how it's going to be the now comes in a war mission becomes to search and to destroy.

This is not new character for God, nor is it a different personality and the God of Scripture at the Red Sea. Remember back in Exodus chapter 15 in verse three when Jehovah destroyed Pharaoh and his host, you remember that Israel said the Lord is a man of war, the Lord is a warrior's an amazing title for God's amazing title for the son of God, but a true one. You're listening to Grace to you with John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary in Southern California.

John's current studies showing you what will happen when Jesus comes the John today.

You identified a number of symbols in the book of Revelation.

There's the horse that portrays Christ as conqueror the white that symbolizes his purity.

With that in mind, let me ask a question but I'm sure many of our listeners have wondered how do you know when to take a passage literally and went to treated symbolically was very obvious when literature is symbolic or using analogies.

If I say about my son, but he's as strong as an ox you don't confuse that you know exactly what I mean you don't think he's an animal you eat. We use that kind of talk all the time in the book of Revelation makes those kind of analogies and uses those kinds of symbols all the way through. You have the same thing in the book of Daniel, do you have visions of liens and and various faces of animals and we all understand that this is metaphoric language. This is used to symbolize some feature like we say someone is as wise as an owl we we don't think their bird that that's just part of human language.

That's part of speaking in analogies and in illustrating and making things clear. So when you come to studying the word of God, you, you start out with the principal of the interpreting natural meaning in a literal way, so we know there's not something mystical here that is not something hidden, not something below the surface. We don't need some kind of esoteric knowledge or insider secret knowledge.

It's simply that when we come across symbols. We recognize them as symbols if in Revelation, we see a beast coming out of the sea. We know that's not an actual beast coming out of the sea.

That's not the point.

The point is rising from the nations is a great powerful leader. You take each passage on its own merit.

You you you can look at the context you can see what's before it. What's after and how it fits in the bigger picture. It isn't really as difficult as some people might think. So when you and I speak or read something that uses analogy, we don't struggle to understand that were ready for those kinds of things naturally and the same thing is true scripturally.

Thank you, John, and now friend if you're looking to better understand the book of Revelation and how it applies to you. Let me encourage you to get a copy of John's two-volume commentary on the book of Revelation, it goes deep into every verse and makes the meaning clear to pick up John's two-volume commentary on Revelation, contact us today. You can call us at 855 Grace or shop These commentaries are great for prepping Sunday school lessons in sermons or simply for getting more out of your personal devotions to order John's commentaries on Revelation or the complete 34 volume New Testament commentary series called 855 Grace or order from our website Jide this reminder to we appreciate hearing how Grace to you is helping you grow spiritually. If you've never written or if it's been a while, just a quick note to share your story and be sure to include the call letters of this station when you write. That's a big help to us. Our mailing address is Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412, and our email that's our email one more time. now for John MacArthur and the staff. I'm Phil Johnson with the request. Tune in to Grace to you television this Sunday. I think you benefit our website will show you if it airs in your area and then join us tomorrow when John looks at the glorious return of Christ with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace to you

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